At the end of June, the first students arrived in Lailenpi to enrol in the newly launched Education for All project. Over 100 youth from surrounding villages, who have previously failed their Year 10 exams, signed up to receive tutoring for the next ten months at the recently built Health and Hope Training Centre.
The project was piloted last year, supporting 202 students part-time, who were studying in two schools in Lailenpi town. The team focused on providing additional tutoring in English, Maths, Physics and Biology. The Year 10 exam results are just out and there was a significant improvement...
As a result of the pilot project, 24% of students passed their exams compared to under 10% two years ago. The 2019 result means that an additional 21 students passed the Year 10 exam in comparison to 2018 at a cost of £182 per student. Whilst the pass rate in Chin State continued to be the lowest for the whole country, students in Lailenpi achieved a 4% higher pass rate than the state average (20%), with the highest state in the country achieving 37%. For a remote rural town, this is a significant achievement, almost matching the pass rate of students from the state capital, Hakha.
The new students enrolled last week for full-time education with the first classes taking place on Monday. Dipar, one of the graduates of Health and Hope's Freedom to Education scholarship programme, is now a class tutor, supporting this project. She wrote this short message to us during enrolment:
"Yesterday when I was receiving the students for Education for All, unexpectedly I met one of my year 10 classmates. Incredibly, he has been trying to pass class 10 since 2010 when I was also taking the same exam. As soon as I met him, he said to me: "I really need your help to pass my year 10". I am so touched by what my friend said to me. I really hope and pray that this project will be a blessing for many students. Please can you thank everyone for all of their support to start this project and a big thanks to all our generous donors. May God bless you all."
9th July 2019
Training centre update: The roof is on!
Click below for an update on the training centre rebuilding project and Health and Hope's other work supporting remote communities in western Myanmar.
31st May 2019
Rebuilding the training centre: The final stretch
On 30th May 2017, Cyclone Mora made landfall in Bangladesh before moving northwards through western Myanmar. Torrential rain and high winds destroyed homes and triggered landslides in rural villages with 37 families made homeless in the village of Lailenpi where Health and Hope Myanmar’s (HHM) work is based.
In addition, we were devastated to lose the majority of the HHM training centre; seven buildings were destroyed including the main training hall, kitchen and dining area and four dormitory buildings.
Over 18 months later, it's incredible to look back and see how much progress has been made on the building of the training centre post Cyclone Mora.
When the project started, the local tradesmen initially refused to dig foundations at 20' spans, asking us to hire 'professional builders' from outside the village. They had never dreamed of being able to construct a building of this scale, nor did they feel they had the skills to do it. But through the provision of field engineers and through careful supervision and encouragement, the training centre is now really starting to take shape. Best of all, the local townspeople can look back at what they have accomplished with their own hands, standing tall and proud of their accomplishments.
We’re delighted that the building is now almost complete and that we’ve just received a significant grant for the last stage of work to put the roof on the building. In fact, a few weeks ago we hosted our first week long training in the building, despite the fact that it has no roof, or even a coat of paint on the walls! In December, 28 Area Coordinators, who provide in-situ support for our network of Community Health Workers, gathered for the launch of our new healthcare project and took up residence in the training centre. This has been followed by training for educators in January, and fuurther training of health workers in February.
The video below gives an update on the project...
If you'd like to suppport the final efforts to complete the trianing centre, you can give to the project here.
28th February 2019
To Lailenpi and back again…
We're delighted to share our latest newsletter with you.
Click below to read in full.
7th February 2019
Latest update on maternal and neonatal health project
It was a delight to accompany one of our specialist midwifes from the UK, Frances Barnsely, on her seventh visit to Myanmar (Burma) in December 2018.
We have been running Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) training since 2013 from our base in Lailenpi, nestled in the jungles of western Chin State. As a result, many lives have been saved, with the local under-5 orphanage closing down in March 2018 thanks to the reduction in maternal deaths during childbirth.
With 166 women having received at least two trainings covering basic and advanced topics over the five prior years, there were now geographic challenges in reaching the more remote villages. To put this in context, some of the women had previously walked 5-6 days to participate in the week long training course, and on top of the return journey, it was proving too difficult to ask them to spend up to three weeks away from their families.
As such, at the beginning of 2018, we brought seven of the most experienced women together to take on new roles as local trainers. Each of the trainers were to visit 2-3 remote villages close to their homes to help expand the reach of the service. Key to the success of this new approach was how effective the local women would be at running their own training courses, in addition to whether they would be accepted in their local communities. With support from the local women's association, the trainers were able to deliver training to 91 new TBAs covering ten core topics. In addition, birthing bags and clean delivery kits were distributed through the network of trainers.
During our visit, Frances undertook a review of the trainers work through visiting villages on the back of a motorbike. After a gruelling ride over rough mountain tracks, she arranged a three day assessment for the women who had received the local training. In addition, Frances continued to up-skill and update the knowledge and professional practice of the trainers who attend a five day workshop at the Health and Hope clinic.
"I was so surprised how much the local women knew. I had never expected the trainers to be able to deliver so much of the course and so well. There were obviously differences between the villages, however overall, topics such as hand washing and knowledge of diet were excellent. There was still a need to support the women in greater understanding of the mechanisms of birth and they continue to need more practice in emergency drills, but this will come with time.
I think what struck me most was the impact of the training on the women's self-esteem. It was clear how the initiative had raised their status within the village which had a knock on effect on their confidence. Previously they were very insecure, lacking the self-belief that they had the ability to benefit from the training in Lailenpi. However, because they had the opportunity to practice with a local trainer and then meet us in person, they overwhelmingly expressed a deep desire to attend the full training course. The support of their local community is vital for this, and this was confirmed again and again by the village elders.
Overall, there was such excitement and joy in learning together, it was absolutely thrilling to be a part of it!”
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.