Thank you for your support for World Aid in 2008. Because of partners like you, many people in Burma, and those being resettled to a new life in the US, received both practical help, and the hope and encouragement that the rest of the world has not forgotten them.
Currently in the Karen state, the Burma Army continues to increase the number of troops deployed against civilians in the ethnic areas. Meanwhile, the offensive against the ethnic nationalities has gone on with minimal effective response from the international community for over 60 years.
In May of 2008, the world watched as Cyclone Nargis devastated the delta region of Burma, killing over 84,530 and 53,836 reported missing (Asean Report). The Burma Army at first blocked aid to those devastated by Cyclone Nargis, and then later arrested some of those who tried to help their own people.
In 2008, World Aid continued our partnerships with the ethnic peoples in Burma. Some of the ongoing projects included:
- Providing relief to communities devastated by Cyclone Nargis in partnership with Karen churches, Buddhist monks, Thirst Aid, and others already in the cyclone area. We continue to help in expanding an ongoing communications network, provided over 800 water filter units (each $20 filter produces enough safe water for a family of 6 or 24 children during a school day),and continue partnering to provide food (and the means to grow it), medical and educational resources, and resources needed for rebuilding communities.
- Providing medical supplies, food and support for villages in remote areas where no other source of supply is available. In 2008, we provided funding three clinics in areas of Burma where they are the only medical help available.
- Partnering with the Karen Teacher’s Working Group (KTWG)—a network of Karen teachers working throughout Karen state providing education and teacher training (see ktwg.org) and Partners Relief & Development. Generous donors made it possible for the first time, for all 2875 teachers working with the 913 schools and 59,604 internally displaced students to receive a $40 year stipend, helping them to be able to continue teaching instead of having to quit teaching in order to raise their own food. KSEAG Film About Schools in Burma
- Partnering with Free Burma Rangers (Freeburmarangers.org) to support their work of training multi-ethnic relief teams, providing relief to IDPs, and working for ethnic unity. Currently in 2008, there are 50 full time FBR teams active in the Karen, Karenni, Shan, Arakan, Chin, Kachin, Lahu and Pa’O areas of Burma. Each team is comprised of 4-6 men and women who have received training in public health, first aid, advanced medical and basic dental care, human rights reporting, counseling, video and still camera, map and compass, land navigation, solar power, and communications. Each team conducts 2-3 month relief missions each year and is equipped with enough medical supplies to treat 2,000 IDPs, as well as packs for children, clothing for IDPs, toys, and sporting equipment. Since 1997, relief teams have treated over 300,000 patients and helped over 750,000 people.
- Partnership with Christians Concerned for Burma by continuing to support the Global Day of Prayer for Burma (coming March 8, 2009).
- Partnering with the Karen Women’s Organization (Karenwomen.org) selling handcrafts for IDP relief. 100% of funds raised here go back to the Karen community to help with relief efforts for internally displaced people.
- Partnering with the Karen refugee community here in Seattle in supporting refugees being resettled to new life in the US.
Thank you for your partnership in helping to serve the people of Burma. Your support continues to allow for humanitarian projects of all sizes, big and small, to be possible. We at World Aid are grateful for your help!
For the World Aid team