Help a Town in Burma: Here’s How
If you’ve always wanted to help the Burmese people, but am not sure how, this is your chance. Many countries have placed sanction on Burma because of the lack of transparency in where the aid money goes. Thus, one of the best way to give aid to Burma or Myanmar is to give to local community based organizations who can contribute directly to communities in need.
Youth Circle is a community based organization in Yangon run by youth. They have been operating since 2008 and has been conducting a variety of training programs and seminars such as a capacity training program to increase the potential of rural and urban youths, as well as conduct organic farming training to villages. You can view a full list of their program on their webpage.
With foreign investments pouring into Burma at an unprecedented rate, regions with high risk of natural disaster face an even greater threat if no special attention is paid to the land and the environment. Since more than 80% of Burmese citizens still depend on the land for their livelihood, the effects of damage to their natural environment could be disastrous. This could be seen from Cyclone Nargis in 2008, where not only were the lives of many lost, those who survived faced extreme poverty from the complete loss of their livelihoods. It is in light of these issues that Youth Circle has organized an environmental awareness seminar and exhibition in seven towns of high risk areas so that they would be better equipped in the protection of the environment.
Out of seven towns,Youth Circle has only been able to raise enough for two towns thus far. The budget for one town is about 254,000 kyats, that’s about $306 USD. For a working person in the modern world, this amount may not seem like a lot, but it could educate an entire town. The money will go towards the operations of the training, including covering the high transport costs across the relatively undeveloped country. Much of the knowledge and coordination has been given freely and generously by volunteers who work full time for the organization for the betterment of their people. (You can read more about the volunteers’ efforts here)
If you’re outside of Myanmar and interested to help in this particular project, visit the DONATE page to donate via paypal (Please do a direct bank transfer instead if you are based in Singapore or Indonesia – Feel free to contact me directly about this if you feel unsure). I will be collecting any international funds and sending it to them via an agent (Thank you donors, first batch already sent to Myanmar). If you are already in Myanmar or planning a visit, please go to their office and help them out directly.
Full details on the seminar and cost breakdowns are on the donate page. Accounting reports will be sent to all donors.
I personally know or have met several members of Youth Circle and am currently in correspondence with them regularly via gtalk and e-mail.
Even if you think this is not for you, please help spread the word. Thank you!
962,586 / 2,202,000 Kyats
$1,151.16 / $2680 USD