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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 22nd 2008: Report from the field - RPDG group

Rehabilitation Project for Persons with Disabilities and their family

There are many challenges that persons with disabilities (PWDs) and their families face in their daily lives due to lack of awareness, insufficient support and opportunities in the community. These challenges have been multiplied with extreme suffering after the Cyclone Nargis – losing loved ones, housing, mobility aids (wheel-chairs, crutches), and shops, etc. On top of such losses, with limited physical mobility and access to resources, many had fallen into depression.

There are many needs but right now, we are focusing initially on their housing need which was assessed as “living under extreme condition”. During this month, we have supported RPDG group in their effort to rebuild 11 houses for 11 PWD families in Yangon Division (Dhala, Hlaing Tha Yar, Insein, Mayangone, Shwe Pyi Tha Townships). With five small teams, construction was completed with follow up action and final assessment on 17 July. The total cost was $2,300. The project was a success despite many challenges that the teams faced such as heavy rain during construction and relocation of PWDs on muddy roads.


Attached photos showed before and after rebuilding of the huts. Please check our photo gallery for more photos:

The project has helped a great deal to eleven PWDs families.
- Improved their living condition with a proper housing during rainy season
- Helped reduced their worries and stress for their housing for at least 2 years

In addition to above obvious positive outcomes, many benefits have also been realized:
- Raised public awareness on disabled people in the community through the group effort and accomplishment of this project;
- Discovered more disabled people in the community so that they can be referred to the respective organizations for their rehabilitation and vocational training;
- Found out more on the needs of disabled people for future projects.


The PWDs and their families were very happy and thankful for their new homes. We would like to share their happiness with all of you. We sincerely thank our local group RPDG and our donors for the opportunity to help.

Thank you for your continued support!

In Yangon area alone, there are at least 250 disabled people (out of 550 PWDs in Yangon area-RPDG’s data) living under extreme conditions.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 9th 2008: Filling in the Blank, Part 2 Group1 - MSNA

With regards to our 3 July 2008 post, we now have an assessment from the field on the distribution of school supplies based on the visit to 12 villages in Daydaye Township.

Though more text books have arrived, not all students can hold their own text books yet. Following is a student list from 12 villages with the suggested number of text books to donate. According to the number of students, we need 8-10 sets per village.

School Books:
Grade 1 (used to be Kg): 387 students - 100 sets
Grade 2 (used to be pa-hta-ma tan): 281 students - 100 sets
Grade 3: 267 students - 100 sets
Grade 4: 251 students - 100 sets
Grade 5: 586 students - 100 sets
Grade 6: 168 students - 50 sets
Grade 7: 148 students - 50 sets
Grade 8: 148 students - 50 sets
Grade 9: 164 students - 50 sets
Grade 10: 97 students - 40 sets
Grade 11: 85 students
Total text books: 2,599 students - total 740 sets (this would cost between USD 850- 900)
3 exercise books per student: $850
Total: $1,750

Supplies for orphans
We also have a list of orphans (students) from Kyun Pin village, Daydaye Township. They all live together with their relatives. Attached two photos show the orphans with their teachers.
Grade 1: 5 students (5 boys; 4 without parents, one without father)
Grade 2: 8 students (5 boys, 3 girls; 3 without parents, 3 without father, 2 without mother)
Grade 3: 3 students (2 boys, 1 girl; 2 without parents, 1 without father)
Grade 7: 2 students (2 boys; 1 without mother, 1 without parents)

Some of the orphans report that they do not have uniforms, umbrellas, slippers, text books (complete set or partially). Most of the orphans' current guardians are daily miscellaneous workers. Can we look into providing what these orphans need? One set of uniform is around 2,500 Ks; one umbrella about 3,000 Ks; one pair of rubber slipper is around 1,500 Ks, text book is around 1,300 Ks. We can provide them some toys, coloring books for the grade 1 students and other necessary items that these kids can have on their own. The total cost to provide such items per kid will be about 10,000 Ks. We can spend around US$200 to provide what these kids need and to provide a few things that will ease their suffering a little bit.

There is also a need to repair a small bridge between two villages (Shan Kan village where the high school is and Taw Paung Sein Village). Many students pass by this unsafe bridge everyday (the photo is coming soon). The previous estimated quotation for rebuilding the bridge is between 2,000,000 Ks - 2,500,000 Ks. No donor has come up for this project yet. UKMG has thought of ways to cut down some costs, and thinks the bridge can be repaired if he could bring 2 or 3 donors like us together as a joint effort. We can decide on this when we see the photo of the bridge.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 8th: Report from the field - Helping Hands 4 New Generation Group (Bogalay Township)

As part of our rebuilding program, we are working with Helping Hands 4 New Generation for rebuilding communities. We are building 450 huts for 1900 people in two villages in Bogalay Township, both reachable by 1 and half hour boat ride from Bogalay in delta region. While the death toll in these two villages are little, the houses and all possesions were lost during the cyclone.

We are helping the residents of the villages as follows:
1. Donating rain shelter sheets (450 sheets) and helping them build the huts together with the villagers' efforts.
2. Donating necessary house building tools such as nails, pliers, hammers, copper cables.

3. Providing household items that are useful in any home: mat, blanket, pots for all 450 households
4. Providing food items: rice, gram beans for all 450 households

Challenges that villagers face:

Some concerned parents share their worries with us about the mosquito situation in the villages. A tropical country like Myanmar is no stranger to mosquitoes and their stinging bites. But after the cyclone, amount of mosquitoes present in the villages are high due to rotten trees and mud holes around the villages and in the river banks. While the mobile medical teams and some NGOs have arrived to these villages and sprayed some insecticides, the mosquitoes have returned back and parents are worried about their children. When we were in the villages, there were no reports about dengue fever yet. To protect the children, we need mosquito nets that are treated with repellent liquids, and other insecticides.

Another difficulty the villagers are facing, in addition to other major challenges such as making their livelihoods, is lack of boats. Delta region has numerous rivers, creeks, and streams. In pre-Nargis days, a well to do family would own a motorized boat, a normal family would own a rowing boat, it is normal that most families had boats. Without a boat in delta region, their communication with a nearby town is quite difficult. This lack of boats was the reason why some people in the remote area had to suffer without any proper food for longer period than other people. A boat can cost from US$ 75 (normal rowing boat), US$ 150 to US$ 1,300 depending on their size, engine power, and type of wood used. We will not be able to provide the boats for the families now, but let's just keep this in our mind that there is such challenge exists that we have to tackle when the time is right.

More detail report will follow again when the huts are completed.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 6th 2008: Summary of our actions as of 30 June 2008

Total amount of raised as of 30 June 2008: $78, 532
(United States: $64,924, Thailand: $9,298, Australia: $4,310)
Purchased and Distribution: Please click here for detailed distribution and areas reached.

Please also find the summary of our three programs below from 8 May to end of June 2008:

Program 1: Distributing Emergency Aid

What we have been distributing since 8 May during the first week of Cyclone:
Water: Water purification tablets
Food: Rice, onions, beans, potatoes, salt, eggs, canned fish, fish paste, dry tea leaf, milk powders, ovaltine
Medicine: Burmese medicine, Tylenol, Imodium, Clotrimazole Cream and Foot powder (for Skin)ORS- Electrolyte, Royal D, Ranidine, ORS Amoxy, Paracetamol, Urinox, Pabron, Hiscolgen, Gynegyl, Bromhexine
Others: Men, women and children clothing, rain coats, rain boots, life jacketsTowels, blankets, mosquito nets, torch lights with batteries, rain cover sheets, plastic sheets
House building tools to the families, pots and pans, glasses and cups, detergent, candles

Areas reached: more than thouand one families
Yangon Division: Hlaing Thar Yar, Dala, TharKayTha, South and North Dagon, Shwe Pyi Thar,Than Lwin Town, Kyauk Tan City Payarkone village; Shwe Pauk Kan, Insein, Dagon Myo Thit
Pegu Division: Thone kwa village and near by villages
Irrawady Division: Delta area : Bogalay, Twantay, Laputta, Pathein, Dedaye, Phar Pone
Some of the areas visited in Twante: Mya Kan Thar Village (306 families), Aung Zedi Village (76 families) and near by villages
Some of the areas visited in Bogalay:
-Villages near Bogalay township - 250 families;
-6 hours boat ride from Bogalay: Kyein Chaung Gyi village and near by villages
-3-4 hours boat ride from Bogalay: 408 families:
-- Bote Chaung Village – 104 families
-- Ma Aye Kyi Village – 71 families
-- Kone Tan Pauk Village – 47 families
-- Byu Ya-gone Village – 32 families
-- Tha-pyay Nyo Tan Village – 53 families
-- La Waing Kyun Village – 101 families

Program 2: Rebuilding communities

(a) Budget Hut Buidling Group (NLS group)
- Completed 25 budget huts for 88 people: Shwe Kyun Thar Kyaung Su Village in Kokko Kyae-Ywa Su in Lat-put-ta Township
(b) Helping Hands
Current project: Package aid for 450 huts for 1900 people in villages nearby Bogalay
Package: - Roof (villagers have already started with their base, only provide roof sheets which will be reused for water tanks.), mat, blanket, dan-oh (pot), rice, kalah beans
Total per hut = around $35

Program 3: Helping families and children
Distribute school supplies, books, pencils, erasers, rulers, clothing and snacks
Thank you very much for your generosity and support. Together, we can make a difference.

Friday, July 4, 2008

July 3rd 2008: Filling in the Blanks - Group1 MSNA

There are rehabilitation programs being carried out by various parties including some heavy-weight companies in all parts of delta region. The farmers are being helped with buffaloes or plowing machines, seeds and manpower. Yet, there are always some pocketed areas where help could not reach as fast as it should. All of us can try filling in these blanks and help others do this as well.

That said, it was reported that in 10 villages visited in Day-da-ye area, there are 6 primary school (Grade 1 to 5), 3 extended primary schools (Grade 1 to 8), and 1 high school (Grade 1 to 11). Total number of students in all these schools is around 2,000. Some are still coming in to register in the schools at a later date, so the number still fluctuates.

All these school buildings had collapsed during the cyclone except the buildings from the high school. All the students studying in primary schools are in the shelter of monasteries in the villages. As schools have started, some text books have arrived to the high school, but most of these text books got wet and were destroyed. Other primary schools have not received any text books yet. You will see in the pictures: the teacher uses a game board as a blackboard; some students are in a shelter house (za-yat) without any walls; and some are studying on the concrete floors.
(Photos credited to UKMG.)

We will have an assessment report on the number of students in each grade by next week. One set of text book costs between 1,000 Ks per set to 1,500 Ks depending on the grade. Let's try filling in the blanks.

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