Local Ownership Solved Their Problems
The village continues to accomplish incredible things even after the destructive cyclone Mocha in Rakhine State. The cyclone has affected hundreds of villagers and destroyed their assets. The villagers felt disappointed about not receiving humanitarian aid from outside due to the constraints and blockages. A lot of villagers’ homes are still not restored and they are waiting for aid. They rely on very limited resources they receive from outside. Despite the fact that the village was affected badly, they quickly adapted to the chaotic situation and developed ways to handle their issues.
The committees came together to identify their greatest needs and started to figure out with the committee leadership and community participation. This quarter, the village has completed two significant community-led projects, such as rebuilding a dormitory for school teachers and rebuilding an early childhood care development center, which were totally destroyed by the cyclone Mocha. The school teachers did not have a place to stay when they taught classes in the school. So, they had to travel more than 45 minutes every day. More than 20 pre-school children could not take their regular classes as their facility collapsed. The villagers and especially the students’ parents felt sad about the situation. But they could not initiate the process since the needs were enormous even for the survival of their own families after the cyclone.
After two months, the Transformational Community Development (TCD) Committees led the process of rehabilitation in the village. They mobilize the community and raise funds within the village and outside the village, envisioning the future of the children’s education. It was a successful project. They completed the teacher’s dorm using locally available materials, and they raised funds for the preschool facility from outsiders. Now, the teachers who come from a distance stay at the school campus and focus on their teaching. The pre-school children also have a new center to restart their education and they are having so much fun.
Our plan for the next quarter is to contribute funding for a new school building on the school campus. There are more than 800 students in MH school. The classrooms do not have capacity for all of the students. It has been the community’s desire to build extra classrooms for the students so that they can have their educational opportunity the entire year. A temporary facility that serves a good number of students collapsed and the village leadership team is working hard to rebuild a nicer facility for a long term solution. Therefore, our plan is to be able to contribute necessary funds to the community for rebuilding the school to ensure the future education of the children in MH and around the area.
Transformational Community Development (TCD) Update:
The village has been renovating their ponds to store more water in summer time. They tried a few different solutions for the water shortage. For example, some families tested pumping underground water with a motor. The community still has water source problems in summer, however, it is impressive to see their efforts to look for different alternative solutions to meet their challenges. The water committee always shows up and takes the leading role by the time summer is approaching, and they respond to the challenge the best they can.
The village has been struggling so much for their livelihood after the political conflict and natural disaster. The food committee’s efforts to help their own community is impressive. Whenever there is a great need in the village, they stand up and work hard to help the vulnerable families. The village did not get humanitarian aid although the need was great. However, the food committee managed to bring food for those vulnerable families in the difficult times. No single family in the community is starving. They are cared for and loved.
The Executive committee takes more responsibility for the overall health of the community. The TCD committees follow and are involved in any activities regarding the community health. There is no regular health lesson sharing in the village, however, the Wellness committee takes preventive measures and actively promotes the community health by conducting environmental cleanliness activities, personal hygiene for students and children at ECCD. There are no issues reported in the village for this quarter. It is obviously a healthy community so far.
The school facility has been repaired after the cyclone. The new headmaster has arrived and she is on duty now. The new dormitory for teachers has been built with community efforts. Now, the students are having class regularly amidst the current conflicts in the area. The community school is gaining a good name in the area.
Recently, the natural disaster, cyclone Mocha completely destroyed their agricultural projects. It caused the project beneficiaries to be very discouraged, and they lost their assets. It took them a while without knowing what to do. However, they initiated the process of searching for ways to resume their agriculture project. It is challenging because resuming the project requires another investment and hard work once again. The accountability group has been working hard on finding a way to figure out a relevant and effective approach to restart the project.
Written by: Solomon
GHNI National Field Leader
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