Monday, March 21, 2011

ActionAid Myanmar

 Action Aid is an international anti-poverty NGO working in over 40 countries, fighting  poverty and injustice and helping over 13 million of the world's poorest, most disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
Let's end poverty.....together.

On my long journey across the mountains of Asia, I'll be raising funds and awareness for ActionAid Myanmar. If you want to donate to this worthwhile cause, please go to my fundraising page on the link below.

As I travel through Asia I'll be visiting ActionAid projects in the field. Pakistan will be the first of these, mid July or so. I'll add posts to this blog detailing these visits with photos and case studies, with the aim of raising awareness of the issues of poverty and human rights in the developing world.

ActionAid Myanmar staff - a very committed and compassionate team

         Work in Action, Action at Work -
  •        people, projects, programmes & power......

AAM psychosocial care in Emergency for ECCD, promoting confidence and leadership

Ayeyarwaddy delta fellows during fellowship training
Cash for work

Crab basket making

Fellows, village volunteers and local community, Kachin state

Project team and village youth volunters, Labutta delta region

Drying fish in the delta

Laughter and smiles - bright hopes for a new generation
  Action Aid, Myanmar & I 
Yangon  (Sept- Dec 2011) & the Ayerwaddy Delta trip (Nov 2011)
Last year I worked at ActionAid Myanmar providing English language support to some of the staff in Yangon (Rangoon). We concentrated on writing skills and, by reading the case studies and reports from the field, I was given a window into the valuable work of ActionAid. Many of the case studies from the Ayerwaddy delta portrayed the devastation and suffering caused by Cyclone Nargis in May 2008 but they also depicted a proud and resilient people overcoming severe hardships. I was moved both by the tragic stories and the incredible courage of these people.

In November, I was also very fortunate to be invited on a trip to the Ayerwaddy delta with ActionAid staff, taking photographs and recording interviews. This trip was a valuable opportunity to see up close the work being undertaken by ActionAid staff in the field. All the staff I met in the delta - i.e. interns, health workers (physiotherapists), fellows and volunteers - showed intense commitment and compassion in their work and I felt very privileged to be a part of this journey of discovery and change in action.

In Pyapon, three very devoted physiotherapists were working with people with disabilities in the delta.
more photos to come.......

A 14 year old girl with spina bifida, one of many in the delta who gets regualr visits from the ActionAid physios. She had such a wonderful spirit and vitality and a very caring family.

A Karen fisherman and professional boxer who had suffered an horrific accident at sea. His leg was paralysed and he could no longer work. After some donations for a skin graft operation he was able to continue physiotherapy, resume his livelihood and take care of his family. He has been receiving beneficial care from the physios in Pyapon since he left hospital.

His wife in their simple home where poverty blew through. Their other house was destroyed by Cyclone Nargis, their only two children had died of preventable disease, and neither could pursue their livelihoods because of his accident. In the face of this suffering and loss they remained determined and hopeful.

A village volunteer and his team of workers. They had formed a disaster management committee, established a mangrove nursery and helped in the construction of a tube well. These projects were facilitated by ActionAid and a partner NGO.

Looking from their village (Mingalar) to the Bay of Bengal, the coastline has been stripped of mangroves and is now exposed to cyclones and tidal surges.

School children from Mingalar village

A fisherman from the delta, wearing a typical hat of the region.
Fishing is the main livelihood in the delta. The waterways are the roads flowing across the flat landscape and most transport between the far flung villages is by boat. The rivers are a hub of activity, colour and fluid motion.

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