A Heart’s Capital Investment in Burma

 A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of joining Hal Nathan (from Inverness in the Bay area of San Francisco) on a motorcycle venture from a small town in the far north of Thailand to enter Burma. We travelled on the back of two motorbikes and made our way into a Burmese refugee camp just inside Burma – avoiding the check points and army posts to enter Burma.

Our motorcycle drivers took us around rice paddies, woods, along tracks and up and down hills. It gave me the opportunity to see a little of the profound commitment of Hal to Burma. He is a true kalyana mitta (good friend) to the country.


Hal used to be the portfolio advisor to a major capital investment company with his wife, Gail Seneca. In the past 10 years, he seems to have taken on Burma as his portfolio. He has put a huge capital investment into the country, namely love, energy, time, money, countless visits to the country, setting up a US foundation and office in San Francisco called the Foundation for the People of Burma, as well as attending numerous meetings and organizing fund raising events in the USA for Burma. It’s bodhisattva motivation. Hal is not a young man – he’s turned 60.


I just had this message sent to dharma contacts from Jack (Kornfield), Joseph (Goldstein) and Sharon Salzburg. It reads:


“Since day two of the disaster, the FOUNDATION FOR THE PEOPLE OF BURMA has been on the ground delivering relief to the poor, the newly homeless, the children, the elderly and all those trying to rebuild their lives.


The FOUNDATION FOR THE PEOPLE OF BURMA has mobilized its network of over 300 Burmese staff and volunteers in the most hard hit areas, and is now reaching over 70,000 people with hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical supplies, food, sanitation and rebuilding assistance. With heroic perseverance, the staff surmounts daunting obstacles to their work on a daily basis.


Maung Lay, a student volunteer, drove a truck full of rice to 3 villages that had almost no food for 2 weeks. The military roadblock stopped him to confiscate the food. Maung Lay looked directly at the young soldiers and replied, “You will have to kill me first.” They let him pass and the food got through. Despite military harassment, threat of disease, and challenging logistics, the local foundation network has brought life saving relief and begun the rebuilding and replanting process in numerous delta villages.


The FOUNDATION FOR THE PEOPLE OF BURMA is the largest U.S. public charity focused exclusively on humanitarian needs in Burma. Established in 1999, it had developed a sturdy and agile infrastructure on the ground in Burma long before this emergency. As huge international aid organizations continue to negotiate with the junta for access, THE FOUNDATION FOR THE PEOPLE OF BURMA is already on the ground and providing effective relief. The problems are critical. The time to help is now.


Because the needs are enormous, we need as much money and support as you can give to help in this crisis. We have almost no overhead costs, and offer a direct way to get your help to thousands of children, the hungry and the sick. It is through the care and generosity of all of us who can that these Burmese people will survive.


To donate, go to http://www.foundationburma.org/. 

Please join us in this urgent and important support, and spread the news by sending this letter to your networks of concern



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