Our Response to the Humanitarian Crisis
With the donation received from the different communities of our Province and from the friends of the Friars both local and foreign, we, Myanmar Dominicans, have been able to respond to the humanitarian crisis under the following categories since 2022.
Since March 2021, Fr. Paul Aung Myint Win, OP, had been delivering food and other relief aid to poor families, to the jobless families, to the families who lost their loved ones due to the cruelty of the military in the region of Yangon.
Since May 2021, the Dominican Friars and sisters in Loikaw led by Fr. Moses Dereh, OP, not only had been providing food and shelter to those who came to take shelter in the convent; they had also been delivering food, and other relief supplies to the refugees who are displaced in various parts of Kayah State and Shan State.
This year, in order to respond to the humanitarian crises effectively, we have formed an Emergency Response Team composed of Fr. Paul Aung Myint Win, OP, Fr. Marko Thoe Reh, OP and Sr. Rosa Mu Mu Lin, OP and some volunteers. The friars and sisters of this team buy relief supplies and with the help of volunteers, they deliver them to the neediest people who are taking shelters in different locations of the country.
In some cases, as the friars and sisters cannot go to the displaced camps personally, they cooperate with other social organizations in delivering aid and in other cases, they send financial assistance to the displaced people via mobile digital banking services.
In addition to suffering from the consequences of political turmoil, the people of Myanmar also had to weather the viruses of Covid 19. As medical staff walked out of their jobs after the military seized power on 1 February, Myanmar Healthcare system shattered. As COVID-19 infections peaked, hospitals could not accommodate the patients, and as a result, countless individuals died in their homes.
In those difficult times, Fr. Paul, OP, personally went to give medicines and food to the families who contracted the virus and bedridden in their homes. In Loikaw, with the help of a retired nurse, Fr. Moses, OP set up a small clinic for the displaced people in the convent. Besides, he also bought medicines and delivered them to various displaced camps in the state.
To respond to the needs of healthcare, we have formed a Medical Team which consists of Fr. Mariano Kai, OP, Sr. Benedetta, OP, Sr. Elizabeth Byama, OP, a doctor and other volunteers. This team is in charge of buying medical supplies and delivering them to the places in need.
This medical team is also providing medical supplies for students who are studying in community based schools in various displaced camps.
Besides, with the help of a volunteer doctor, the members of this team are also touring the camps and tents of displaced people in the forest regularly in order to check the physical conditions of the people and thus give the necessary medical assistance.
If the situation permits, and should more funds are received, this medical team will set up a mini clinic for the displaced people in the forest and provide health care for the people there.
Next week: Educational, Emotional, and Spiritual response