Cyclone Nargis Relief
Shortly after Cyclone Nargis hit the Irrawaddy delta of Burma May 2nd two travel organizations that Generosity in Action has worked with for a number of years asked if we could collect funds for them to distribute to help the local people. We were happy to do so. [As of 6/30 we anticipate that further funds will go to repbuilding schools in the area and for plowing equipment as described in later reports.] Below you will find segments from emails received from them. If you wish further information, please email me at duncan@GenerosityInAction.org
You can send donations for aid to the people in Burma.
email received 5/23
This to report on the (funds) sent by PVF. Not received yet but I am acting quickly to put it into good use. Other donors have asked us to pool resouces and handle the relief efforts. Total amount approx Ks 25 lakks.
One good thing is that Manager of (our company) hails from MawKyun a
small town in the delta area hard hit by the cyclone. His brother has
been working with one UN aid agency in the area for many years. We are
told that the
Our staff and young volunteers - 8 persons will leave 6 PM today (Sat) by boat, arrive next mornig 6 P.M at Bogale, a big town in the area, also hit very hard. Will immediately go out with 2 motor boats to villages more than 2 hours journey to deliver the goods.
The items include 50 bags of rice, at Ks 16,000 per bag, 7' x 100 yards
plastic roofing sheets, x 10 rolls, at Ks 120,000 per roll. And salt &
whatever foodstuffs or clothes
Many people have gone to these areas by car for the past 2 weeks and
so refugees with easy access to roadways have more or less received help.
That is why we choose to go to
Fyi $ 1 = Ks 1100 + .
Will follow on the report.
Dear One & All,
I got permission from Save the Children for my one day leave. Audrey & I went to the delta with some friends yesterday 23 May. We had truck load of clothes, rice, sachets of juice and flavored electrolyte, cakes of soaps, some herbal medicine, liniment, balm, blankets and tarps. All of those are collected from the neighbors and friends for the villagers on the delta including our list of contributions mentioned in my prior report. We went beyond Deidaye` which is about 80 miles away from Yangon. It was pretty warm and humid out there. The road from Yangon links to Kawhmu, Kungyangon, Deidaye`, Phyarpon, Bogalay and other areas with many river bridges on the delta. Some villages are accessible only by water by hiring wooden boats with outboard motors.
Right outside Yangon there is a 10 mile long unpaved road with potholes. Normally it takes 1 hr to drive. That road was at the worst situation last Sunday but now it turns from worst to bad which means good for Burmese people. The reason is the arrival of UN Chief. They have prepared it over nightly by filling the potholes with sand and smooth it with big rollers. We wish UN Chief could stay here forever!
After passing through Kungyangon town we came to see many groups of villagers standing on the road at certain distance. They are expecting donations from the people who come from Yangon and other cities. Some people wear torn clothes or topless and some don't have flip-flops in the heat of the sun on the hot and dusty roadside. We stopped at certain points. Since we are banned from having really well organized relief workers in these areas the well-wishers like my friend groups are rushing out there to donate what ever they think would be suitable for the survivors like Audrey and I are doing. The big question is "Can these donors do it forever"? There must be the donor fatigue which is literal too to reach out there. What will these people do without people coming to donate? There are many people out there in remote areas without having a single packet of instant noodle due to inaccessibility
I tried to get out of the group by loading stuff in a friend's sedan to get out to reach some people between Deidaye` and Phyarpon where many of the donors don't reach because they donate everything in a rush rush way and go back to Yangon. So even on the roadside there are survivors who are not reached by the people. I got all 30 tarps I brought with the group and my friend who is the ground manager for Air Asia. He's got some 200 blankets from Jet Air Asia to donate. In addition we have some hand-me-down towels and shawls handpicked and packed by my friends before hand. He drove the car. Audrey's sister's husband handed out the blankets. My friend's mother handed out the towels and shawls and I tried pieces of tarps by checking the small huts which are tiny without much resistance to wind and rain. You can see the photos of some people who received the pieces of tarps and their huts on the roadside. They cannot rebuild the houses in the villages yet and survive in these huts. I'm glad that they have at least good waterproof roof and a blanket now. Audrey was left with the others and she took charge of distributing blankets and other staff.
On the way back we were dropped at Magyigan village in Kawhum Township where cousins of Audrey's mother are living. We were hosted with a good lunch by her aunt. Thank god they have some vegetarian meals for me! Some relatives showed me around the village how the people suffered. So we promised for a roll of tarp for some people who can't afford.
This morning we saw very few people going to the nearby authority offices to vote for postponed constitutional referendum. Save the Children stopped relief works today because of it. Most people who go and vote because they are scared if they might have a hard time with authority later. We know it's a sham so we don't even bother going there. Instead we headed out for purchasing some tarp rolls. I don't have funds in hand yet. My associate has informed me the receipt of the wire transfer from Leslye (another client who visited here twice) a few days ago. We haven't received it yet.
Unfortunately I had one of my tires flat and had to change two tires
for those are pretty worn out. I need to change a pair of tires because
we intend to go out to the delta from now on with my own car. Today we
purchased three tarp rolls. This time we cannot get the same one we donated
yesterday for the stock is out. We could only get one with a little less
Audrey's aunt was very happy to receive those and she suddenly ask kids from the family to gather some people who are not able to get back to normal way of living with destroyed houses. I went to a jetty where I will be able to access some villages without much assistance in that area. One of Audrey's cousin told me the names of the villages along the small Kawhum river. I noted those carefully to include those places in one of our destinations.