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Budget Hut Project Update

Our third transferred donations are being used in Nargis reconstruction work.
Following is a brief description of the village being reconstructed with our donations.

Village : Sait Ka Lay
Village Tract : Tha Byu Gone
Single Budget Huts: 38
Net Value: 4,000,000 Kyats (368,525 JPY)

Following is snippet of email from Local Volunteer describing about project completion.


ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔ အဖြဲ႕ရဲ႕ အိမ္ေဆာက္လုပ္ျခင္း လုပ္ငန္းေတြကို ရပ္နားခဲ့ပါၿပီ။ မိုးေလဝသနဲ႔ အျခားေသာ အေၾကာင္းအမ်ိဳးမ်ိဳးေတြေၾကာင့္ ေနာက္ဆံုးေဆာက္ခဲ့တဲ့ ဆိပ္ကေလး ရြာအေၾကာင္းကို အခုမွ တင္ျပႏိုင္တာ ခြင့္လႊတ္ေစခ်င္ပါတယ္။ ဒီရြာေလးဟာ ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔ ေဆာက္ခဲ့သမွ်မွာ စိတ္တိုင္းအက်ဆံုး၊ အပင္ပမ္းဆံုးနဲ႔ အခက္အခဲအမ်ားဆံုး ရြာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ စုစုေပါင္း အိမ္ေျခ ၃၈လံုး ေဆာက္လုပ္ေပးခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒါ့အျပင္ ရြာမွာ တံတားတစ္ခု တည္ေဆာက္ျခင္း၊ ဘုန္းႀကီးေက်ာင္း ျပဳျပင္ျခင္း၊ ဝါဆိုဆြမ္းကပ္လွဴျခင္း၊ ၈ေပအက်ယ္ လမ္းေဖာက္လုပ္ျခင္း စတာေတြကိုလည္း ျပဳလုပ္ေပးခဲ့ႏိုင္ပါတယ္။ ဒီရြာမွာ ေဆာက္ခဲ့ၾကစဉ္က ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔ အဖြဲ႕ေတြ အဲဒီမွာ အလွည့္က် ညအိပ္ၿပီးေတာ့ကို ကိုယ္တိုင္ပါဝင္ လုပ္ကိုင္ခဲ့ၾကတာပါ။ ေနာက္တစ္ခုက အဲဒီမွာေဆာက္တဲ့ အိမ္ေတြအတြက္ သစ္ေတြကို အင္ကညင္သစ္ေတြ အကုန္ေပးၿပီး ေဆာက္လုပ္ေစခဲ့တာပါ။ အရင္ရြာေတြမွာ အိမ္တိုင္ေတြကို ကိုယ္တိုင္ စိုက္ထူေစခဲ့ေပမယ့္ ဒီရြာမွာေတာ့ တစ္အိမ္လံုးအတြက္ သစ္အကုန္ေပးခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒီရြာ ေဆာက္လုပ္ႏိုင္ဖို႔ အတြက္ ေငြလွဴဒါန္းခဲ့သူေတြကေတာ့ စကၤာပူက ပုညကုသလ အသင္းနဲ႔ ဂ်ပန္ႏိုင္ငံ နာဂအိုကာ က Myanmar Student Association of Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan ေက်ာင္းသားေတြပဲ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ကၽြန္ေတာ္တို႔ကို လုပ္အားကုသိုလ္ ပါဝင္ခြင့္ရေအာင္ ကူညီ လွဴဒါန္းခဲ့ၾကသူ အားလံုးကို ေက်းဇူး အထူးတင္ပါတယ္။

Nyi Lynn Seck
Handy Myanmar Youths Volunteer Group

Budget Hut Progress

On June 7, 2008, we transferred our collected donations channeled through Myanmar Cyclone Relief to our volunteer group (Handy Myanmar Youths) in Labutta, Myanmar. The transferred amount is JPY 298,125 (3,100,000 Kyats in Myanmar Currency) and this is the second batch transfer of collected donations. This transferred donations is being used in Budget Hut Plan.

Following is a brief description of the village being reconstructed with our donations.

Village : Thaing Chaung
Village Tract : Ka Nyin Kone
Single Budget Huts: 23
Net Value: 3450000 Kyats

The construction is nearly finished and here are some photos of the village.

The location of the Budget Hut Project village can be found in Google Earth and also in following detail map of Ayeyarwaddy Delta.

Village List and Budget Report of Handy Myanmar Youths can be found here

Our donation is acknowledged in their received fund list.

The Associated Press News stated about the Myanmar Cyclone Relief activity of the volunteer group we are working with.

LABUTTA, Myanmar (AP) — Bloggers may find their messages blocked by Myanmar’s military regime, but that hasn’t stopped Nyi Lynn Seck from raising tens of thousands of dollars for cyclone survivors through his website.

Now, the 29-year-old IT specialist and his friends are getting their hands dirty and putting the donations to work by helping to build “Budget Huts” in the Irrawaddy delta, a region still reeling from the May 2-3 killer storm.

Days after Cyclone Nargis hit, the Yangon resident traveled to the delta to document the survivors’ stories. He posted their accounts and his photographs on his Web journal.

“I have been blogging for quite a long time and many overseas Myanmar citizens read it. They wanted me to go to the delta and help out,” he said.

Nyi Lynn Seck quit his job as a manager at a software solutions company to lead six volunteers, including four other bloggers, on a mission to aid villages around Labutta. They have been here since May 9.

He is just one example of a grass-roots movement that has emerged in Myanmar. Many of those doing private relief work are highly critical of the government effort that followed the storm.

Private efforts have filled a lot of gaps in the relief effort, especially in the early weeks after the storm, when the junta turned back most foreign relief workers. After pleas from the U.N., the junta agreed to international aid, but it still limits foreigners’ activities.

Nyi Lynn Seck said most of the $30,000 received by the group came from Myanmar expatriates in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia but money also was sent from as far away as Europe.

Myanmar’s military government, which strictly controls all media including the Internet, blocks most blogging sites. However, they are sometimes accessible by using a server that masks the site’s true origin.

Bloggers played a major role in ensuring the free flow of information during anti-government protests in Myanmar last fall and the violent crackdown that followed. At least one blogger, Nay Phone Latt, remains in prison.

Nyi Lynn Seck’s blog has in the past included personal observations, advice for would-be bloggers and news items. It has not been seen as anti-government.

Nyi Lynn Seck said he became an aid worker because he felt the junta’s response to the storm — which killed 78,000 people and left 56,000 more missing — was inefficient.

“The government doesn’t rely much on a system or technology and they don’t know what to do. They work only on paper, so the help was really delayed,” he said.

Nyi Lynn Seck picked up his black leather laptop bag and pulled out a stack of slides he shows to would-be donors. He also has two models of wood-and-blue plastic shelters, dubbed “Budget Huts.”

The group, which calls itself “Handy Myanmar Youths” because it wants to lend a hand to survivors, has put up 88 huts in delta villages.

Such volunteerism is not always welcomed by the junta. A popular comedian was taken from his Yangon home by police this month after going to the delta to help survivors.

Many Myanmar volunteers and the local staff of foreign aid agencies pack their vehicles with food, water and other supplies when heading into the delta; several have reported being harassed by police or having their vehicles impounded.

Nyi Lynn Seck said the government approved his group’s project after they detailed their plans to authorities in Labutta and declared that no foreigners were directly involved.

The group makes five- to six-hour boat rides to coastal villages to deliver materials and tools to build the huts and then supervision of the construction, which is done mostly by the survivors.

Due to tides, the volunteers are unable to return to Labutta on the same day, so they usually spend at least one night sleeping on the bare ground without shelter from mosquitoes. Several have fallen ill.

The blogger said the group’s most pressing concerns were about sustaining the project despite the high price of materials and transportation.

“Now the biggest problem is that we’re having trouble finding wood in Labutta, and the wood is also getting very expensive,” Nyi Lynn Seck said.

“As long as there are funds and donors, hopefully we can keep this up for another two to three months here,” he said. “But I’m not so sure about the future.”

News Source : Associated Press Hosted by Google
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iy-MfhLN9Q7MwtQ1VlrvexLjr2dAD91C4L9G0

Update: Feb 28, 2009

The news is no longer available at the above link. Please use the following link to read in news archive.
http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2008/06/17/myanmar_bloggers_help_build_budget_huts_in_delta/

On the evening of May 24th 2008, Myanmar students from Nagaoka University of Technlogy enjoyed Asean Japan Night festival at International University of Japan (IUJ) in Urasa. We went there right after Cyclone relief Donation collection activity around Nagaoka Station. There, nine Asean countries’ and Japan’s traditional food are offered in absolutely free of charge. There are about 60 students and teachers from our university found to be enjoying the festival. We happened to know with great surprise that there are 17 Myanmar students studying at IUJ. This is considerably large number for the universities in Japan. IUJ Myanmar students offered Myanmar Traditional food, Coconut Noodle and performed Shan Dance. We experienced enormous and really amusing performance of International students. As saying goes: “A picture says thousands words”, Following is the photo slide show of the festival. Check out more there !

May 9th, 2008 : For Nargis Cyclone relief, the Donation collecting activity of Myanmar Students Association is started in front of NUT canteen. We collected donations during lunch time between 12:00 to 13:00. All Myanmar students and some foreign students at NUT participated five-day activity from May 9th to 15th in week days.

May 10th, 2008 : The donations collected on Friday (May 9th) is sent to Myanmar volunteer group inside Myanmar to be used in emergency relief. The collected sum is 144,000 JPY (1500,000 Kyats in Myanmar Currency). Our special thanks go to Ma San Yu Khine from Yokohama for collecting donations and coordinating with us. She and her friends contribute 35000 JPY in our first batch transfer of 1,500,000 Kyats.

Local volunteer group distributed a collection of emergency necessities. Each first aid kit includes following things and hand out to each refugee.

1. a blanket
2. a T-shirt
3. rubber slipper
4. a cooking pot
5. a plate
6. a pack of biscuit
7. a can of sardine
8. a short pant

Each pack costs 6705 kyat in Myanmar currency.

May 12-15 : Continue collection activity at NUT canteen with volunteer international students.

May 14th, 2008 : The news of our activity at NUT canteen appears in Niigata Nippo newspaper. link

May 15th, 2008 : With the arrangement of Nagaoka Civic Center; the campaign poster, palmflats and donation box for Myanmar Cyclone are placed at center and started collecting donations. The donation box is admitted to be placed for two weeks and received 11,850 JPY.

May 17th, 2008 : Two NUT Myanmar students joined Niigata JOCV Party on evening and collected donations. We received 14,073 JPY.

May 17-18 : Myanmar students’ donation collecting activities are performed in front of Nagaoka Station on Saturday and Sunday with the support of NUT international students center and Nagaoka Civic Center. NUT international students from NUTISA, Japanese students from Model United Nations activity group, Chinese students from NUT and Nagaoka University joined us.

On Saturday, the group is divided into two groups and collected donations in two places. On Sunday, the group is divided further into four groups to collect donations at Baseball Stadium and at Marathon Competition. The received donation is divided into half: one for Myanmar Cyclone relief and the other for China Earthquake. Therefore, Myanmar Students Association received 260,971 JPY for two days.