Through Education

At BCCE, we believe that “a better life” is more than acquiring a good job. It is one that offers not only material prosperity but also mental and physical freedom. More education for members of our community means the more freedom for them to enjoy. For the young adults and adult members of our community, Through Education programing aims to realize their dream for “a better life.” As always, our programs are based on our own assessment by talking and listening to individuals and families, and learning from them their concerns and aspirations for their future and the future of their children.

Through Education programs include:

  1. Environmental Education and Ecological Preservation – This program focuses on promoting and understanding the importance of environmental and ecological preservation and methods of sustainable growing. This is accomplished through sharing of information as well as through BCCE’s Community Organic Farming project. The primary objectives of this project are to reconnect the community with its cultural roots, promote healthy living through healthy eating, and to educate about the importance of environmental preservation. Thus the Community Organic Farming project encourages environmental conservation so that not only is our community participating in a mainstream progressive movement, but is also reconnecting with our cultural roots.
  2. Community and Public Health Education - The general objectives of CPHE include identifying and addressing health concerns, advocating for healthy community, and educating and empowering the community so as to embrace healthy social norms and practices. The CPHE builds upon two primary components. The first component is public health, "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals." In subscribing to this definition of public health, the BCCE believes that a healthy community can be attained through public health initiatives involving community residents, concerned citizens, health care professionals and institutions, and other governmental and non-governmental agencies. The second component is education. As always, all the initiatives undertaken by BCCE are implemented through formal and/or informal educational programs, for we share the belief that "learning is for living, and that education means developing the capacity to make judgments..."
  3. Focus on Cultural and Ethnic Diversity – Along with integrating a focus on cultural and ethnic diversity in our formal education programs, BCCE also organizes special community events. Being strategically located in the First Baptist Church of Indianapolis provides BCCE with ample opportunity both to observe and learn cultures other than ones with which we are familiar. At the same time, we are constantly sharing and educating members of the Indianapolis community who are not Burmese with our cultures and traditions. This interactive cultural sharing and educating experience enriches both the Burmese community and the Indianapolis community at large. BCCE is uniquely equipped with expertise and capacity to present and promote the Burmese cultures beyond the Burmese community. By collaborating with other nonprofit organizations in town, BCCE staff members participate in, for example, professional development and cultural competency training for the Indianapolis Public Libraries’ staffs and the Indianapolis Public School’s English as a Second Language teachers to enhance greater understanding of Burmese cultures.
  4. Civic Education and Citizenship – At BCCE, we believe that competent citizens who have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to participate responsibly and effectively is essential in the political and civic life of a democracy. Through informal education, our vision is to help develop better informed and productive citizens. Members of our community came from a country where their (right to) citizenship was effectively stripped or unrecognized. Many did not have any proof of their citizenship except the notion that they were citizens by birth. Some likely do not even have that notion. The fundamental rights of the citizens were completely absent from the scene of life. The responsibilities of citizens were never articulated in an educational way, but always imposed by authorities through force. In addition to incorporating this concept in the curriculum for our education programs, we also organize workshops annually on this important subject. The workshop materials are selected and designed to educate members of our community, who are soon to become the citizens of the United States, with the basic civic knowledge and their rights and responsibilities as citizens. We hope that our people become familiar with their governments at local, state, and federal levels and get to know their new country through understanding of and appreciation for citizenship.