OUR NOBLE TRADITION
Caring for the Aged is integral to our tradition and culture since the reigns of Myanmar kings. Continuing this noble tradition, the concept of establishing homes for the aged poor was initiated in the early years of the twentieth century.
THE FIRST FOUNDER DAW OO ZUN( 1868 – 1944 )
The pioneer to this humanitarian cause of establishing homes for the Aged in modern Myanmar was a sublime lady, a silk merchant from Mandalay named Daw Oo Zun. She was born in 1868, when King Mindon still reigned. Her compassion towards the poor and helpless aged motivated her to establish 5 old age homes around the country within a short span of 22 years from 1915 to 1937.
Daw Oo Zun founded the first Home at Mingun in 1915 at the age of 46. The second Home was established at Thaton in 1923, the third Home at Paungde in 1929, the fourth Home at Hninzigon Ward, Yangon in 1933 and fifth Home at Pakokku in 1937. Remaining celibate and deeply pious, she renounced the worldly life to become a nun of the Buddhist Order at the age of 62 at Paungde Home.
HNINZIGON HOME FOR THE AGED
Hninzigon Home for the Aged was established on 1st January 1933 by Daw Oo Zun who had become a Nun Daw Thu mar lar at the age of 65. It was originally built at Hninzigon Ward in Thingangyun Township, a little distant from downtown Yangon. By 1941 the World War II had broke out and Yangon was bombed. Fearing for the safety of her ward, she moved them from Yangon to Mingun by rail in February 1942 at a frail age of 73.
In recognition of dedicated humanitarian services for care of the Aged, the British Colonial Government awarded her with the prestigious title “ Taing kyo Pyi kyo Saung – TPS ”. Grandma Oo Zun passed away at her first Mingun Home in 1944 at the age of 76.
THE SECOND FOUNDER MYANMA ALIN U TIN ( 1897 – 1978 )
Hninzigon Home had to close down during the war and was deserted. But some helpless old who remained in Yangon took refuge around the old Home. Being aware of their plight, U Tin, a humanitarian, aged 46, then General Manager of Myanmar Alin daily newspaper came to their rescue. With the help of the Sayadaw,venerable elder monks and other sympathetic well wishers, the Home was reopened an 4th.April 1943.
With foresight for the future Myanma Alin U Tin, as he was now known, initiated formation of collective management to run the Home with donation from the public maintained through systematic accounting. U Tin was the second founder and the first President of this Management Committee, an early forerunner of a Non Government Organization ( NGO ), a non-profit humanitarian institution dedicated to work for the care of helpless homeless aged. The new name: “Hninzigon Home for the Aged” was adopted in 1943.
But the President was mindful that the first founder Grandma Oo Zun was still alive at Mingun at that time. So he wrote a letter stating that the Hninzigon Home as properly restored and requested her to take over the administration of the Home. However Grandma Oo Zun in her historic reply memo of 25th. October 1943 informed President Myanma Alin U Tin that she was no longer able to take charge, and she thus formally handed over the Home to MyanmaAlin U Tin.
MyanmaAlin U Tin, the President was aware that Hninzigon location was not suitable for management and future growth of old age care. Thus after the end of World War II a suitable location was searched and found in a 7 acre undevelopedland notfar from central Yangon at Bahan Township. It was bought in 1952. A new name: “Hninzigon Home for the Aged Management Committee” was registered and adopted as official designation.
New buildings were built and completed in April 1955. The 45 aged residents were moved from the Old Hninzigon Home at Thingankyun to the new location at 21, Kaba Aye Pagoda Road. Bahan in 30th. April 1956. The new Home was formally inaugurated by the Honourable Prime Minister U Nu on 20th. March 1957.
Myanmar Alin U Tin presided over the progressive growth and development of Hninzigon Home as President of the Management Committee by unanimous consensus for 35 years. He was awarded the high prestigious title “Thado Thiri Thudhamma” for his meritorious humanitarian endeavours. He passed away on 3rd. October 1978 at the age of 81.