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Myanmar comedy troupe uses online video income for charity

A comedy troupe in Myanmar uses income generated from videos to fund charitable initiatives, including supporting needy families and single mothers, members of the team told us.

The group, formed in 2021 in the central Sagaing region’s town of Kale is led by comedian Nau Sing, who moonlights as a taekwondo coach. The short videos are posted on Nau Sing’s Facebook and YouTube accounts, both of which have tens of thousands of followers or subscribers.

Nau Sing told us that the Myanmar Service channel did not start out profitable, but now that it is, he continues to make them for charity.

“I have loved charity since I was young,” he said. “After three years of creating these videos, I started to get money, so now that I have income, I donate as much as I can.”

The comedy troupe lacks access to a computer, so all the editing is done on mobile phones, but recent trends have made short videos with minimal editing popular, and that has made the videos successful, the Nau Sing charity said.

Ma San San, one of the team members, told us that she is happy when the charity can make a difference in other people’s lives.

“When we … gave them a bag of rice, they burst into tears,” she said. “They said they had never been able to buy a whole bag of rice, rather they could buy only a few tins of here or beg for more there. They were in tears because they said a bag of rice would hold them over for a long time, and I was thrilled.

The Nau Sing charity group, seen May 12, 2023, raises money by creating comedy short videos and posting them on Facebook and YouTube. Credit: Citizen journalist  

The group plans to donate to the needy once every month, said Ko Nau Sing, another member of the group.

“We have established a Nau Sing page [on social media],” said Ko Nau Sing. “We are planning to donate once a month as much as we can based on the income. But whether there are contributions or not, we plan to donate once a month.”

The charity donates food worth 100,000 kyats per month (US$48) for a family of five that is struggling to make ends meet, it said.

The charity also supports single mothers who struggle to take care of their children. 

One such mother, Ma Man Lan Nyaung, lives with her five children at a shelter inside a church. She told us that she and two of the older children had been begging on the streets to support the family.

“We were not shy anymore. We begged from every house that we thought had some food to spare,” she said. “At that time, the Nau Sing group donated rice, oil, salt, and chickpeas. I am very grateful to them for their donations.”

Translated by Htin Aung Kyaw. Edited by Eugene Whong.