My name is U Ah Jone. I live in Khun Sai (Upper) Village under Loi Mwe Village Tract, in Kyaing Tong township. In my family we are eight: my wife and our 6 children.
I am a Li Shaw ethnicity. We grow three acres of paddy field. The paddy fields are located six miles below the hill of Loi Mwe. We also have some livestock such as buffalos, cattle and pigs.
When I lived at my parents’ home in their village, I had access to water from the lower part of the village where the water source used to be. Gradually, the weather got worse and the water gradually disappeared.
Since I got married, when I was about 30 years old, we carried water and rainwater from the bottom of the house in the rainy season. In dry seasons, winter and summer, we used to take a bike / motorcycle / bullock cart to Loi Mwe Lake to get the water which is far from the village at about 0.5 Mile. We had to carry water every day for our household water and animals.
Then New Humanity Myanmar arrived and started a project for a solar water supply system.
This was really A LIFE CHANGE!
When the water supply system was provided in 2014, New Humanity Myanmar built three water reservoirs (with concrete rings) for Khun Sai (Upper) village. I have one reservoir close to my house and it can fill with water in the morning, and during the night. The house and the water storage tank is about 20 feet away, so we are able to get access to the water whenever we need for the household use without wasting a lot of time.
Beginning in 2017, there is the connection from the small water tank with 0.5 inch plumbing to the house, installation of water meters, and 200 kyat per unit of water for water use and costs only 1,000 to 1,500 kyat per month.
We are so happy now that the water is already in the house and we can work more without worrying or wasting time to go to take water every day.
We are so grateful to New Humanity for having improved our lives!
Unfortunately Covid-19 pandemic is not improving in Myanmar and India, at the opposite the situation is now worsening.
In Myanmar this week the lock-down re-started even stricter in Yangon region, where we have our central office.
Our country director, Livio Maggi, is always in touch with governmental staff and he wrote us that the government is now planning to distribute essential items to all families in order to avoid everybody to go out. Actual official numbers of infected people are not so high, with 8515 cases and 155 deaths, anyway it’s a critical situation as they have only 70 places in intensive care in the whole country. So our staff is temporarily not allowed to go to disability centers and to the juvenile center we are supporting in Yangon, we’re keeping on supporting them only through hygienic and basic materials distribution.
Luckily the virus is not spreading so high in Shan State, where we have our projects in Taunggyi and Kyaing Tong, so our staff is keeping on working as usual at the service of our beneficiaries in disability, education, social inclusion and rural development fields.
In India the situation seems to have no end. Few weeks ago it seemed that the situation was a bit improving and the lock-down has been a bit relaxed, our staff managed at the beginning of August to re-start activities for children with disabilities in Jaipur slums and we were hoping that this could have been our new start. Unfortunately at mid-August a flood occurred in Jaipur and Covid numbers started again to increase, we all know last weeks’ numbers reaching actual 5.818.570 cases with 92.317 deaths. Especially in Rajahstan the situation has worsened, the lock-down started again at the beginning of September and now we only have to wait for another improvement. Our local staff is keeping on supporting our beneficiaries with basic goods distributions, but they can’t wait to start again with all therapies, because those children really need it.
We are really grateful to our local staff because they managed to keep on supporting all beneficiaries, finding always alternative ways, they are very special and devoted people, thanks so much!
We still need some help in order to face this critical situation which is still keeping to create problems, especially for the poorest. If you wish to help in some way you can donate here indicating in notes “Covid-19 emergency”.
Thanks to you all who already helped, without your help nothing wouldn’t have been possible.
Chit Naing is a 3 year old boywith down syndrome, he has a developmental delay in cognitive skills and lives in Kon Lon village tract, in Taunggyi district.
Our physiotherapist, Ju Ju, visited his family for the first time at September 2019 and since then he improved so much! Thanks to home based treatments included in our Community Based Rehabilitation program, we’re helping him to develop his full potential.
Here his story.
I met Chit Naing in September 2019 and I made a first physiotherapeutic evaluation. When we met for the first time, the child was able to roll in a supine position, he was able to sit very well but he was not crawling, he simply moved moving on the buttocks and tried to stand with the help of an adult. The child often got sick from his low immune system. For these reasons, it was important to explain to the mother the conditions of Down syndrome and the importance of nutrition, hygiene and early childhood intervention for a child with disabilities.
I then did a physiotherapy treatment such as standing up and sitting down several times to improve the power and tone of the muscles of the lower limbs. I taught him to screw and unscrew the bottle lip to help him improve fine motor skills. I provided wooden forms and teaching materials to play to improve his cognitive, communicative and social skills.
We also provided child walker with wheel to allow him to practice standing and walking.
After only 5 months, Chit Naing manages to crawl forward and manages to stand up without the help of an adult. He is able to walk with the walker with the help of his mother in their home. The muscle power of the lower limbs has improved considerably. It is able to screw and unscrew the cap of the water bottle very well. He is learning to stack toy containers and insert the 4 different wooden shapes.
It was important to have explained and taught all these exercises and activities to her mother, so she was able to participate in the activities and stimulate her baby. This is exactly the added value of Community Based Rehabilitation, to involve parents and relatives in children’s rehabilitation in order to develop their maximum potential. The development of Chit Naing has already improved a lot and there will be further improvements!
Did you know that during 2019 we supported, thanks to your help, 2134 children and we trained 3767 adults with our projects in Myanmar and India?
This successes, and more else that we’re showing in our annual report, wouldn’t be possible without the support of all people who have been following us since years.
For those reasons it’s a great pleasure for us to introduce you the new Annual report for 2019: more than a report, it’s especially a dialogue and participation tool, a sign of gratefulness towards our partners, donors and all people who are supporting us.
If you wish to keep supporting our projects you can donate here
The whole Myanmar, last month, has been in lock-down. Our staff wasn’t allowed to enter any center, that’s why we had to transform our support in different ways: food distribution, provision of hygienic materials and training at distance.
Since May the 13th until the 29th our local staff organized a 6 days online training about disability’s related matters. This idea was born thanks to the collaboration with Don Carlo Gnocchi foundation, which is collaborating with us in Myanmar since last year and which is supporting us and our program in disability field.
Our local staff involved two professionals: a physiotherapist of our staff and a Burmese speech therapist who works in USA. They provided training on different topics, such as: gross and fine motricity, non verbal communication and communicational development. 47 people attended these trainings from different location: the School for Disabled Children, the Disabled Care Center and the Yankin Hospital in Yangon; the Department of Social Welfare in Mandalay and Taunggyi; our staff in Yangon, Taunggyi and Kyiang Tong; the New Heaven Learning Center, the Morning Star and the Phayar Phyiu center in Taunggyi. Attendees were both operators/teachers and children’s parents.
These trainings has been a good chance for sharing experiences and good practices, all participants have been involved in sharing and proposing ideas for the future. In this way we are starting the creation of a local network for disability. Some basis are already been laid, such as advocacy activities organized by parents themselves, in collaboration with our staff, or new planning of rehabilitation activities in centers involved.
We should really thank our partner, Don Carlo Gnocchi foundation for the organization of these trainings. They are really giving good fruits which will allow us to improve our service for children with disabilities in Myanmar. We want to thank also to all participants who made this training a rich source for everyone.
Many people, after last developments in south-eastern Asia, came back in Myanmar from Thailand and China, where they were for job. The Ministry of Health published on 5th April the amount of those people: 45.498 burmese people came back during last two weeks of March. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to control all these people, some borders are open without any control, giving in this way the chance to come back avoiding controls and so it’s impossible to know the exact number of them and how many of them are exactly in quarantine.
Political situation is very delicate, and during this period awareness grew among the people about what it’s happening and the fear (about healthy and political situation) grew, too.
Government made a call to look for adequate place to answer different kind of needs. First of all there is the need to find spaces where suspected cases could stay in quarantine. They’re looking for big structure, equipped, with beds and possibility to eat, and to have first assistance.
Our local New Humanity’s staff reflected on how to respond to such a need. The time we’re living in is demanding a lot, not only as organization, but as humanity at first. It’s too early to make any consideration, but we believe that this virus is threatening not only our bodies, but lots of levels of our society, psychology and faith, too. Bodies could be healed with distances, but the spirit and the psyche need proximity. For this reason, we decided to open theHouse of Dreamsin Taunggyi to this new needthat this population and every other population are living: bodies getting sick, spirits getting lonely. The House of Dreams is a residential centre for care and rehabilitation for addicted people, addiction is a problem very spread in Myanmar.
At the moment in the House of Dreams there aren’t beneficiaries, because at the end of last rehabilitation path all guests came back to their villages. We were planning to start the new rehabilitation group at the end of April, but in this emergency we certainly don’t know how long it could last and when we could re-start the program. Our program manager proposes to House of Dreams staff to respond to this government’s need giving availability of the house to assist people in quarantine. After a first evaluation about the possibility to put in place all security and prevention measures for the house and for themselves,they decided to answer yes to this call. After some contacts with local government now the House of Dreams is inserted in the list of available places for quarantine, our staff already re-organized the house following governmental and international hygienic and prevention indications and they already bought all necessary items to stay in quarantine.
We can foresee first arrivals already this week and New Humanity International already allocated some funds to face expenses for this first answer to the emergency.
Another very important aspect it to provide assistance to centers we are supporting: there’s no more possibility to access to provide therapies services we were providing, but we’re still giving continuity to the provision of food and hygienic materials.
We are very worried about rural villages, where people can no longer go to work or go to the city to sell their products.
Our staff in Shan State has already organized to bring food and hygienic materials at the gate of villages, in order to be able to give them to families we are supporting in our disability program.
In Yangon we keep on supporting, at distance, the Juvenile Center, with doctor’s visits more often and furniture of hygienic and health materials and devices.
The situation is very critical, as in other similar contexts, and New Humanity is reacting putting in place different responses to the emergency that are possible only thanks to our private donors and to the incredible commitment of our local staff.
In India the lock-down started at March, the 25th with 519 confirmed cases. This lock-down started suddenly, with only 4 hours left to people to organize themselves.
Many people in India, especially in big cities, work on daily labor and in few days they really run out their savings and had nothing to eat. Images and video crossed the world showing the tragic consequences of this lock-down, thousands of people left without anything in big cities decided to come back to their villages, by foot, for hundreds and hundreds kilometers: pregnant women, elder, little children…and some of them already didn’t survive to this journey.
JaIpur, where our project Navchetan is set, is declared red zone. In our slum, Jawahar Nagar, a family was found infected and the access to the slum is very restricted now.
After 2 months of lock-down there are 101.261 cases and 3.164 deaths, and numbers are keeping on increasing, no showing any slowing down. “Will there be an end? There will certainly be an answer for Corona but STARVATION MAY OVERTAKE THE CORONAVIRUS in number of victims” said our local program manager.
Thanks to our local staff’s commitment and to our donors’ support we’re keeping on supporting our beneficiaries in Jawahar Nagar slum, in different ways. As our beneficiaries are children with disabilities, their families are not even able to try to go back to their villages.
Here the words of our program manager, Bridget Kalarickal,
“It is becoming bad to worse. In spite of the long days of lock down the cases and deaths are on increase. Now there is some relaxations on lock down. We fear it may worsen the situation. The lock down may continue until May 31st. Then what? We do not know.
Thousands of Non Residents Indians are returning to India. This also leads to major problems. The states like Kerala which was at stable in preventing infection, in treating and limiting the spread of Corona virus is at reversal of come back because of the entry of Indians from other countries who were exposed to the virus.
In general the poor are becoming more frustrated. During the past lock downs days they had a hope of ending the misery.
Many of the migrant workers are making effort to go back to their places even by foot. Imagine hundreds of kilometers walking day and night with little provisions for their journey including sick, pregnant women and children. Some had their fate ending the journey by overrunning trains (they choose railway track in order to escape the police ) and other vehicles or fatigue, sunstroke etc. the government has arranged few trains and other transport but can be benefited limited numbers. The flight of these unfortunate poor are very pathetic and heartbreaking. Will there be an end? There will certainly be an answer for Corona but the Starvation may overtake the Corona. We are also at the risk of facing another tragedy with the Umban cyclonic storm which could cross the land in next few hours. The southern and East southern state is under threat under this severe cyclonic storm.
We are keeping contact with our children. We distributed food items to them. It is great relief to them at least for survival. The days for normal functioning and restart of children’s service are distant days.”
Immediately after the lock-down our staff started to move and organized food distribution, some local donors contacted them in order to donate for our children. Bridget and her co-workers managed to organize several distribution:
– On 6-4-2020: long-term food items were distributed to families of children using the local funds .
– On 20-04-2020: distribution of cash to families of the children in order to make them able to buy essential items: cooking gas, milk, vegetables… as food items distribution includes only rice/wheat, dhals, oil etc which could be stored for few days.
– On 16 -05 2020: distribution of long-term food items, by request of mothers.
We managed to do it thanks to the permission from the police department and the collaboration of Fr. Sibi, the parish priest who provided the vehicle.
As the lock down is prolonged the poor find it more and more difficult to earn the livelihood. No work means no food situation prevails and they survive on the goodness and generosity of others.
In this tragic situation EVEN A LITTLE HELP COULD SAVE A FAMILY, every person can make a difference, and our supporters already showed their generosity. If you want to help you can donate here
Thanks to our supporters, friends and local staff we were able to give relief to our beneficiaries’ families, THANK YOU ALL!
The project for water and sanitation in Yang Kha and Yaung Nan villages, Kyaing Tung’s township, is not stopping, and they shouldn’t stop because nowadays this kind of projects are showing their crucial role.
“We’ve always worked in rural areas to grant access to water to all population, during last years we built more than 50 hydric systems. Nowadays the crisis we’re all living asks us to underline another value of this kind of projects: sanitation and hygienic prevention.” said by Livio Maggi, our country director in Myanmar.
“The area we’re working in is now isolated and it is under special surveillance because of lots of workers coming back from Thailan. Water, naturally, is crucial to grant hygiene in order to prevent any disease or infection. Never as in this moment, where governments are aksing for a constant hygiene, this has been so evident.”
Works to build the structures are keeping on going, despite of lockdown, thanks to the dedication and help of villagers themselves.
As in many other countries, also in Myanmarthe lockdown has started already since some week. Also here schools have been first to close, followed by different centers and agencies. Also villages locked down, roads are closed and people aren’t allowed to go out.
Until now the lock down is established until the mid May.
We are really concerned about the impact that this will have on economic conditions of families who already live in poverty. “Here many people work on a daily labour and they don’t have savings. – as told by Livio Maggi, our country director – and there are no social help or layoff. Many families are contacting us asking for help because they are starving.”
So, we started up an aid program for families in need through the provision of basic goods. In Yangon we are supporting what local authorities are already doing. In villages we are in constant touch with families and we are organizing collection points at villages gates, in order to safely distribute our basic goods.
We also intensifed the support to the juvenile centre and to other centers for children with disabilities, with provision of medicines and basic goods.
I am Ma Hlaing, I’m working as a Community Based Rehabilitator (CBR) with New Humanity Myanmar since 2005. I completed CBR course at Youth Training Center, recognized by Department of Social Welfare, in Yangon in November 2004. Immediately after that I started working for New Humanity Myanmar in 2005, I’ve been assigned as CBR in 18 villages of Kong Lon Village Tract, Taunggyi Township.
At the beginning of Community Based Rehabilitation Project in my assigned area, I have encountered DIFFERENT CHALLENGES. First of all was that the community have very limited knowledge on community development program and there were no NOGs, INGOs interventions in this area. Thus, the villagers were afraid of meeting us and didn’t trust our project. Secondly, poor accessibility to the project areas is also one of the challenges: roads to villages were very rough and stony, it was not accessible by car and motorbike like nowadays. Thirdly, difficult for collecting Baseline Data for the project. And finally, parents of children with disabilities also feel ashamed and uncomfortable for accepting our visit. The community and the family itself thought that disability was punishment by God, to be hidden from others.
I have struggled and worked very hard to overcome all those difficulties trying to meet all village heads and explain about CBR project, organizing meetings with all villages for Public Awareness. After the village heads have clear information through awareness meetings, I could conduct baseline data assessment through cooperation with all stakeholders in community (by travelling with bicycle one village to another, such an hard work).
After having all data and information, with the help of village heads, there were 32 children with disabilities from my assigned area. With close collaboration with Physiotherapist, we visited one household to another for assistance of Community Based Rehabilitation. We encouraged parents for awareness of disabilities and provide care giver training, step by step parents warmly welcome our visit. Now they accept the reality of the situation and collaborate for assisting exercises and learning activities for their children. It’s not easy for trust building process with village heads and parents of special needs children as it took up to 3 years. They can see the improvements of children’s situation and moreover, we encourage more social inclusion for those children.
Together with Program Manager, we could support more activities for children with special needs in those years, such as participating in different campaigns for people with disabilities, Special Olympics, International Day for Persons with Disabilities etc… Parents and children are more confident now as they have better knowledge on disabilities, how to help their children for better improvement. There are 13 families with disabilities in Kong Lon Village Tract and 43 in Nan Haung village tract that 2 other CBRs, physiotherapist and me are giving support for Home Based Care. We provide food & hygiene materials provision monthly, regular medical and dental check-ups, support for education and income generating activities for families of children with special needs.
It is my passion to help those children with special needs whom are the most disadvantaged and neediest in the community. I love my children and I feel happy working with them. I feel much satisfaction when I could see their little improvements. I couldn’t imagine how their lives would be without my support. I could not stop working with them as I don’t know if someone will love and take care of my children as much as I could. Thinking about this, I thank New Humanity for this opportunity and I will continue working with them for the sake of those children in needs.