On the 30th May 2017, cyclone Mora swept across Chin State, western Myanmar, triggering landslides and destroying buildings in rural villages.
At our main base in Lailenpi town, there was considerable damage to roads and homes and sadly our training centre was torn down by the high winds and torrential rain.
Yet despite the personal impact and sorrow felt by our staff and the local villagers, hope is rising.
Health and Hope staff and a committed team from the local community have come together to dismantle the old training facility and prepare the ground for a new, reinforced training hall and dormitory to be built.
Take a look at our short film to see what has been going on in Lailenpi since the cyclone hit:
As the film above shows, the site is now ready and waiting for rebuilding work to start. We are grateful for the support of eMI-World who are providing world-class architectural and structural engineering support to help design a reinforced building which will withstand future cyclones and earth tremors.
In the last newsletter we asked for your help to raise £60,000 towards the rebuilding budget. We are delighted to report that, thanks to your generosity, you have helped us to raise nearly £45,000 towards this target. This is enabling construction work to move ahead while additional fundraising is taking place. Thank you so much!
Walk for Water!
To celebrate Bryan's 70th Birthday, he and Martin will be following in Wainwright's footsteps trekking 200 miles coast to coast, from St Bees in the Lake District to Robin Hood Bay near Whitby.
He writes "Having had the privilege to meet Dr Sasa and learn about the work of Health and Hope through Coast Family Church in Bude, I'm delighted that we can use this occasion to support his work in Myanmar."
The route will take Bryan and Martin 11 days to complete, starting out on the 5th July with Bryan's wife kindly heading up the support team!
Bryan started off with a fundraising target of £2,500 which he has already surpassed. He is hoping to help us raise money towards finishing off the construction of the hydro-electric work, which will bring clean drinking water and electricity to the clinic, training centre and village. We are really grateful to Bryan and Martin for using their time so generously and for the significant contribution that this will make to bring clean running water to the local community.
If you would like to support them and donate to their incredible fundraising efforts, please follow the link below to their give.net page:
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29th May 2016
Running water at last (well nearly!)
Over the last few months we've been hard at work on a project in Chin State to bring hydro-electricity and a clean water supply to our Community Health Worker (CHW) training centre and Clinic.
This has taken multiple explorations into the jungle, assessments of five rivers, the hard work of the whole community and the laying down of over 3 miles of pipework and cabling.
We are delighted to report that water has now started to defy gravity and is flowing up and not down the Chin Hills!
The hydro-electric generator alone took 5 days to dismantle, 3 days to transport and 5 days to reassemble once in-situ. We've also had to cut down enough trees to make 200 pylons to carry the electricity cable.
When we visited the Asochin tribe, it was such a joy to meet literally everyone by name! Villagers waited for hours to greet the team on their arrival and as you can see from the photographs, we had the opportunity to meet each one by name.
As we shook hands and greeted each of these precious people, it was evident again why we do this work. We do this work because we know that everyone counts - everyone of us is equal, known by and loved by God. And, as an expression of what He has done for us, in loving us first, we want to reflect that love to others around us.
It is very easy for us to look down on others whom we see as below us in status or ranking, or to look up to those whom we see as more important than ourselves. It's very hard to treat everyone as equal in worth and recognise that everyone counts. Whether they are poor, crippled and illiterate or rich in education and resources.
But when we recognise that 'everyone counts', we start to change our behaviour and we find our eyes are opened to find joy and friendship in unexpected places.
2nd February 2016
Medicine distribution, food relief & free clinics
Over December and January we’ve been hard at work serving remote communities in southern Chin and northern Rakhine States.
Our team have had the privilege to visit many remote tribes who rarely receive visitors or support from outside their own communities.
Over the next few days and weeks we’ll be sharing some of the stories and photographs of this work.
Today’s news post covers our visit to the Laymyochin.
Our three main areas of practical focus were:
- Distributing medicines to our Community Health Workers
- Running free clinics in the villages
- Distributing food relief
However, our team soon realised, that while our focus on health, education and food security were important, the biggest impact the work was having was in the hearts of the people.
For many of us reading this post, having somebody tell us that we are loved, having someone to care for us, or even someone to simply ask us ‘how are you?’ is a regular and daily occurrence. But for many of the villagers we met, even the gentle, sincere, caring question, ‘how are you?’ is a rare occurrence.
Many remote tribes in this area live in constant fear of outsiders who threaten to take their land. They have been told by others that the reason they are sick is because they are poor, dirty and worthless. They have been denied recognition of their own identity, through the rejection of their language and culture… they are seen as the last and the least in the worlds’ eyes.
But we had the privilege of being welcomed into their communities, the joy of feasting together even with the little that we had, and the opportunity to share their pain and suffering. Most importantly, all that we shared, we shared as equals, valuing every moment of their warm hospitality.
Health and Hope is a partnership between Health and Hope UK and Health and Hope Myanmar. Health and Hope UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England under Company No. 08290412 and Charity No. 1151105. Health and Hope Myanmar is registered in Myanmar under NGO Registration No. 0264.