Trip in 2011 by Crest to Myanmar for the followup on Early Childhood Care Development Center (EDC) and post Cyclone Nargis development in the land of Myanmar.
In 2008 Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Burma/Myanmar. It was a devastating storm that killed over 138,366 people and caused at least $10 billion (USD) in damage. The hardship on the people living there was immense in a situation where life was already hard. CREST responded with different relief efforts through local partners.
From December 11th-15th, 2011 CREST did a follow visit to Myanmar to show the love of Christ and look at sustainable development and early childhood development for refugee children that had been in existence since 2001. The team arrived in Yangon with 28kg of ready to prepare meals from a Meal Preparation Event (MPE) and gifts for at least 600 children. For three days CREST travelled for hours between three different Muslim and Christian villages in the Teth kyi and Dalla areas visiting tiny schools and houses before ending up at the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) run by the Karen Baptist Convention in Law Gar. These broken down are places built on farm land, surrounded by stagnant water, livestock, mosquitoes and military. The village in Teth kyi had a water pump, but it didn’t work and four different grades of children crammed into one room. MPEs of chicken, rice and vegetables, along with 160 gifts were given to 70 needy children. The principle of the school and families were very thankful. After that, CREST and their local partners travelled to the Dalla area and were met by a rowdy and aggressive crowd. Still, they managed to meet with a local school principle, superintendant and representative from a local Tamil speaking Methodist church. Again, they shared their MPEs to the people and gifts to 130 children.
Here, CREST also invested seed money for post Nargis sustainable development projects via pig farming. For example, they helped a family buy two pigs for $130. They also provided milk powder and vitamins besides the MPEs. Finally, CREST met up with the team from the ECDC in Law Gar. CREST was impressed with how the center was run and how well the children were taken care of. The ECDC houses 41 children whose parents pay RM 3 - 10 a month for child care and education. The children even receive music lessons. CREST distributed the rest of their MPEs and gifts before donating $1000 (USD) to promote sustainable microenterprises in cooperation with the ECDC and the Karen monitoring project. Through meetings between local partners, including the Karen monitoring project, and CREST a committee and account fund was formed in order to gain continued interest to help cover expenses for school books, uniforms, shoes, etc...
From the work begun after Cyclone Nargis, and with God’s grace, CREST has continued to keep local partnerships in both the northern and southern regions of Myanmar in an effort to keep improving the lives of the locals. Besides working with local schools and the ECDC, CREST has done disaster relief training and further distribution, encouraging and empowering them to faithfully continue the work. Yangon, and Myanmar, is developing but continues to struggle with refugee populations. CREST is currently looking into dormitory housing for poor rural students so they can receive an education which is critical to their survival in a changing socio-economic environment. CREST thanks all those who have travelled to Myanmar, the local partners and those who continue to partner with us.