Village Team: Dr Yoong, Chong Kok Wei and Chuah Saw Wei
KKC Team: Six members from CGBC led by Mrs Yee
B4T Team: Glen and Linda
Local Partner: Karen Baptist Convention, Yangon overall lead by Chief Executive Naw Myaung Mya Paw and village visit by Naw Shalom Lu and Naw Eh Paw Wah.
Pathein Myaunmya Association (PMA) co-ordination by Naw Mumery, director of Religious Education assisted by Naw Patricia Chatter
Date: 13 October 2018
Activity: 2pm we started our journey from Ipoh to KLIA.
Arrived at around 5.30pm checked into Tune Hotel to get some rest and get ourselves ready for the next leg of the journey from KL to Yangon.
After shower had Dinner at KLIA 2 at 7pm. We had Nasi Kandar at the Quizinn Food Court and never before we were so relax at the airport because the flight is next morning at 9am.
Date: 14 October 2018
Activity: Woke up at 5am get ready for breakfast and head to KLIA at 7am for our flight at 9.15am.
We have four boxes to ferry together with our own baggage’s total 9 pieces weighing 109kg. (Limit 120kg). Thank God for Chuah’s Myanmar worker Thida Aung who is going back to Yangon. The extra person helps a lot.
10.25am Arrived Yangon International airport and met by Htee, Lar Say Wah, Associate Director of Christian Education Karen Baptist Convention, Yangon.
Shortly after set off for Labutta, stopped half way for lunch at Thirtha. The Journey was also interrupted at Myaungmya because the bridge has collapsed in April where two locals perished. We have to cross the river by barge but thank God the traffic was not heavy and our van was the first in the line. The waiting and crossing time were only about 30 mins. 7pm we arrived at Hotel Aung Zabu after almost 7 hours journey on bumpy roads especially the stretch just after Yangon airport Hotel rate 20,000 Kyat per night.
Date: 15 October 2018
Activity: Started the day at 7am to catch the boat to The Gone village. The journey takes about 2 hours and it was a cool and clear morning.
Upon arrival we visited the Early Child Education centre which was built by CREST in 2008 to greet the teachers there and some of the villagers.
Also checked that the rain water collection tank is in working condition
We were welcomed with a sumptuous brunch with fish chicken duck shrimps and vegetable cooked by the villagers at the Pastor house.
After the meal we went over to the Early Child Education centre to have a story telling session with 21 young students and watched by 35 adults, using the flannel graph that was given to Dr Yoong by an English Christian lady Pat Herridge, a friend when he visited England recently.
The flannel set was used by her late father Sid Herridge who used to teach in Sunday school which is no longer in used and the legacy continued in this remote village thousands of miles away deep into the Irrawaddy Delta. How amazing is it? Praise God.
After that Dr Yoong gave a short lesson on personal hygiene and how to prevent contagious disease. Like washing hands, don’t share cups, cut finger nails and quarantine sick students.
After a short rest our team unpacked the boxes and repack the vitamins into smaller packets to be distributed and get ready the games to play with the children.
Saw Wei was resourceful and learned for the first time, by watching You Tube, how to make balloons into shapes of dog and plane.
The children were so excited to see the balloons twisted into shape of dogs and even get the adults interested to learn. The Pastor also wanted to have a go but it is not for everyone.
Next we have the games with children from the learning centre which is to use a straw to suck up the paper cut into the shape of fish and bring it over to the other chair. The young children are shy so in their best behaviour cause all their parents are watching.
After that the mothers take part and the whole atmosphere changed it was filled with laughter and excitement.
It was heart-warming to watch the villagers about 100 of them young and adults enjoying at such a simple event which is to most of us uninteresting.
Meal time again before we leave the village at around 5pm. We originally planned to stay and brought our luggage with us but was told when we were there that the Police did not approve our permit although given the impression that it is ok earlier. It was a pleasant evening enjoying the sunset on the boat in the Irrawaddy River back to the town.
For the record the GPS Coordinates of The Gone village is N16 degrees 06.143 minutes, E94 degrees 54.042 minutes.
Date: 16 October 2018
Activity: Started the day at 7am left Labutta town on the boat to The Gone village.
Pastor greeted us again on arrival. Meal was ready for us and was treated to yet another sumptuous meal. After the meal we gathered at the learning centre where the children weight and heights are taken to collect data for nutritional assessment.
The kids were given a bag of stationery and multi vitamins. The parents were also given multi vitamins some pregnant mothers were given iron tablets. Dr Yoong gave a briefing on basic personal hygiene and prevention.
Saw Wei show a YouTube video of a popular catchy kid song called Baby Shark by Pinkfong which is like Gangnam Style KPop for adults. After the session went back to Pastor house and have a rest to beat the draining afternoon heat.
During the break Dr Yoong did the Emergency Nutritional Assessment (ENA) is a smart program written by a German doctor Juergen Erhardt. The data collected is entered into the program according to sec date of birth weight and height. The program will process the results in the form of a chart. The result shows that 42.9% is underweight which indicate a lack of nutrition. This finding will be taken into consideration when Dr Yoong meet the Karen Baptist Church General Secretary in Yangon for allocation of funds and area of needs.
At 3pm we continue our program this time in the church with the older children of the village and their parents. Saw Wei together with the Karen church workers from Yangon get the children to sign the catchy song Baby Shark but this time in Karen Christian words which was cleverly inserted by the Karen workers. The lyrics are U & Me, Believe in God, Obey God, Follow God, Use by God, Save at last. After a few times the children got the rhythm and it was such a joy to hear them singing those words which will definitely enrich their spirit.
Next item in the program is a short drama of Jesus feeding the multitude. Kok Wei played the part of Jesus bless the few fish biscuits and while the children closed their eyes the prepacked biscuits in a big bag was taken out to be distributed to the kids and adults. Hope that give an impression for the kids of trusting Jesus. A short message was given by Kok Wei on the topic of ambition.The children are asked what they want to be when they grow up. One say police another say doctor, few said teachers and None said they want to be lawyers.
The message is based on Kok Wei’s father life journey. He was born in a village in China like theirs. His mother took him to Malaysia and he worked hard started a business and able to give Kok Wei an education to become a lawyer. The message for the kids is not to look at their environment but to fix their eyes on Jesus who will make a way and on their part they have to work towards that. The meeting end with the Karen Christian version of the Baby Shark song and followed by a hearty clap.
After yet another sumptuous meal we bid our hosts farewell. The pastor and some of the villagers see us off at the jetty and pastor prayed. Although we don’t understand a word but we can sense the Holy Spirit in his voice that God is pleased, which was a perfect end to the visit. Another 2 hours back to Labutta and upon reaching the hotel greeted by power failure again but thank God it came back shortly.
Date: 17 October 2018
Activity: We started the day at 5.30am in darkness for Ka Na So Chuang by boat and reached at 10am roughly 4.5 hours.
GPS Coordinates: N 16 degrees 17.557 minutes, E 95 degrees 2.043 minutes, Elevation 2 meters
Greeted by the Pastor, Pastor wife the church deacons, youth pastor and administrator upon arrival. We had a brief meeting with the Pastor and the Elders to find out the needs of the village. Pastor requested for additional costs of supplementary feeding for the EDC children.
Present allocation is 1000 kyat per child per week for 40 weeks in an academic year. We then proceeded to the Early Learning Centre which was also built by CREST in 2008 with funds from Sin Chew Foundation and SIB KL after the cyclone disaster. There was good attendance of around 40 adults and 80 children
We did all the program and the distribution of the gifts and vitamins that was done in the previous village The Gong at one session. Originally it was planned over two days but the boat ride is too long to come another day.
Samples of Water from the pond (marked as C), clay pot in the house for drinking (marked as A) and from the clay pot in the kitchen used for cooking (marked as B) were taken for Readycult 100 (Merck) test for E.Coli. All results is positive after 24 hours.
After lunch hosted by the Pastor we left the village around 3pm. The Pastor and the villagers came to bid farewell and pray for us at the river for journey mercy.
It was just a short stay so the interaction with the people there was not as strong compared to the previous village. Anyway, we felt in our spirit that the villagers have been blessed especially the children because they don’t get Christian visitors often in view of the remoteness. Just after 5 minutes into the boat journey we were told by the boatman that we have to change boat as the motor was not working properly and can’t take the journey.
With efficiency mobile system a replacement boat was sent and the wait was just around 20 minutes. We continued with the journey and reached Laputta around 7.30pm.
Just as the boat was approaching the jetty, a boat was trying to cross in front of our boat Dr Yoong and the village youth pastor who are in front shouted to draw the attention of the crossing boat to speed up to avoid a collision. Thank God it was a narrow miss.
We thank the youth pastor who accompanied us all the way and having to return to the village on another 4 hours boat ride in darkness.
We had dinner in the hotel foyer packed by the pastor wife and her helpers which was cooked with love as we saw the activities in the kitchen. Imagine a kitchen with no modern facilities. This bring to close yet another fulfilling day.
Date: 18 October 2018
Activity: Met at the foyer at 7am to have a walk in the wet market. Had breakfast which is fried rice with egg. We found a shop that make good Teh tarik which is served in a small cup with saucer, the tea costs 400 kyat, cost of an egg is 150 kyat.
At around 10am we left for Pathein on the van provided by PMA. This time around the waiting time at Myaungmya for the barge was about 2 hours as there was an hour lunch break despite the long queue. Finally arrived around 4pm and was greeted by the Secretary General of PMA.
After supposedly a lunch welcome, and checking out of the place for tomorrow teaching we returned to the hotel for the night.
Hotel Myanma Koe MMR 120,00 for two rooms per night. (One Ringgit Malaysia = MMK 364). Dinner at G7 restaurant.
Date: 19 October 2018
Activity: Started the day around 7.30am had breakfast at the hotel. Around 10am walked to PMA and Dr Yoong gave a briefing of our visit to the two villages which are under the management of Myaungmya association and the objective of CREST which is to eradicate poverty through early learning facility. To be effective in education the children also needs a healthy body where nutritional needs, personal hygiene and water quality are essential.
The Secretary General and their management team of about 8 people attended the briefing. Dr Yoong told them about the water testing result, the nutritional test and nutritional needs. Dr Yoong also told them about the ENA smart program which can be downloaded from the internet. One of the participants told us that child abuse awareness is also an issue that need to be taught as well. This was noted and see how it could be incorporated into the next training project. The objective here is for Christian families who are subject to the jurisdiction of the Church.
Kok Wei shared that it is not the children that needs to be educated but it is more for the parents on how to effectively handle and discipline our children the proper way cause most of us Asians are taught by our own experiences with our own parents which is the traditional way.
Although there is nothing wrong with our parents method using us as examples. This is a good area to work on to get the right trainers to do it for the advancement of the Christian community so that other communities can see the difference in us.
After the session we gave the PMA workers and the two ladies from KBC Yangon that followed us to the village, a lunch at the Thai Chinese Restaurant called G7 nearby which we had the night before and found to be tasty. It is sad to find out that the simple lunch costing 45,000 kyat was almost half of their one month salary.
After lunch we rested for a while and around 4pm we walked to the PMA to meet up with the KKC team from CGBC but their journey was delayed due to road works and traffic jam. We had a walked round the PMA compound which consist of the Administration building of 5 stories which have guest houses, dining room and offices. Across the road there is a church building, a seminary to train pastors, hostels for the students and a printing centre for Christian materials for their community.
The KKC Team finally arrived at 6.30pm. We meet up with them after having the famous teh Tarik and our short visit to the night market nearby. The KKC Team was welcomed with dinner and after that went straight to work to sort out the materials and set up the projector for tomorrow training. The KKC Team headed by Mrs Yee was full of energy even after the long journey. Finally we were at the hotel Swen around 8.30pm for rest.
Date: 20 October 2018
Activity: Assisted Mrs Yee and KKC team training the 80 teachers. Introduction by KBC and PMA teams. KBC Naw Lar Say Wah Associate Director Christian Education, Htee translator PMA General Secretary Rev Moolaygay, Naw Mumery Director Christian Education PMA, Director ECCD PMA.
Date: 21 October 2018
Activity: Checked out from Hotel Swen. Cost two rooms two nights US$92. Van journey to Yangon and stopped at Samalauk for dinner. Paid by KBC / Htee.
Date: 22 October 2018
Activity: Went to KBC to settle the accounts with KBC. MMR 800,000 and Ringgit Malaysia 6,650 was given to KBC. Balance from KBC from expenditures was MMK 3,776,420.
Expenditure intended for ECDCs were:
- Supplementary feeding at The Gone & Ka Na So Chaung 21 and 18 attendees (39 children) at MMK 2,000 per child for 40 academic weeks. Total: MMK 3,120,000
- Honorarium 42 teachers CREST centres for 2018-2019 at MMK 85,000 per teacher. Total: MMK 3,570,000
- Two workers KBC who accompanied us Eh Paw Wah & Wah Pakaw MMR 150,000 each. Total: MMK 300,000
Grand Total MMK 6,990,000
Date: 23 October 2018
Activity: Checked out Hotel Corolla US$ 183. Departed by taxi MMK 3,000 to airport. Meet Rev Tan Gospel Hall, Grace Chapel Kota Kinabalu back from mission work at Shan State. Arrived KL at 3.40 pm and YoYo bus arriving at 8.30pm. Stephen Sit YWAM dropped us to our respective houses.
Submitted by: Dr Yoong
Date: 1 November 2018