Tea time in Victoria will help orphans, lepers in Myanmar

Victoria-based OrphanAsia Society holding mini-fundraiser, birthday bash

Tea has the power to do so much.

When the public arrives to sip tea and munch cakes along with members of the Victoria-based OrphanAsia Society, they will also be helping orphans and lepers in Myanmar.

The event serves two purposes.

“This is a mini-fundraiser and it’s to help celebrate (Aung San Suu Kyi’s) 67th birthday,” Victoria resident Stephanie Taggart said.

Society members are celebrating the Myanmar opposition leader’s birthday because of her pro-democracy work, Taggart said.

Suu Kyi, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, was released after almost two decades of house arrest in late 2010.

OrphanAsia was started in the 1990s by Victoria resident Ralph Newton-White. Since then he has inspired others to raise funds to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Myanmar.

“There are lots of organizations that are involved in Thailand or in Africa or India or wherever,” Taggart said. “But because of the political situation in Burma, it’s always been very tricky. And so Ralph Newton-White felt (Myanmar is) where the greatest need was for assistance.”

Taggart hopes to travel to Myanmar for the first time early next year.

The birthday tea happens Saturday, June 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at St. John the Divine church hall, 925 Balmoral Rd. Tickets cost $10 and must be purchased in advance by calling 250-595-2335.

For details on the organization, visit orphanasia.com or email orphanasia@gmail.com.

emccracken@vicnews.com