BridgeBurma for COVID19 Phase II

Please help us support Myanmar(Burma)’s street vendors in the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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Photo- Nyein Su Wai Kyaw Soe


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Photo- Nyein Su Wai Kyaw Soe

The phone call with my mom and dad left me with anger, frustration and sadness. Frustration because I am safely quarantined in my house, here in the US while my dad has to go out on the streets of Yangon to sell tea. Sadness because they are risking their lives to have a livelihood while I can do nothing for them.

As soon as I learned that my dad is going out on the road to sell tea, I screamed, "Dad, why are you going out to sell tea? Is money more important than life?" I yelled at them for not taking the matter seriously.

My mom replied, "There is no one else to sell tea other than your dad. We need to pay the debt incurred to the tea merchants. We need to pay the labours' wages. We have no choice. This is our lives."

My parents have a small tea shop in the downtown of Yangon. Due to Covid, they have let go of half of the employees as they can no longer afford to hire them. My mom told me, one of the boy who they no longer hire started working another job and got his leg injured from broken glasses.

She said, "People are starving here. We need to earn enough money to keep the employees stomach full." They ended up rehiring him. She repeated, "This is our fate. Thanks for caring about us."

Just like my mom and dad and the injured boy, there are millions of people out there in the city where social distancing is a privilege. It's not the fear of contracting the disease that troubles them. It's the fear from starvation that is inflicting the most.

One thing I can do for them, guiltily sitting here safely is to raise awareness of the dire situation and garner more donation. If you feel empathy for the poor people, the street hawkers, donate here and spread the campaign.

P.S none of the donation will be going to my family as they are not the hardest hit. The campaign is targeted to street vendors who work to live day to day. 

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Thanks to all our donors in previous campaign, we have successfully accomplished our phase 1 donation of 12,500 surgical masks, (worth 5,000,000 MMK ) to Myanmar Ministry of Health for the medical front line workers. These are the first community we should be protecting as they are risking their lives to protect us. 

Now for our phase 2, we will be donating cash to the street vendors so that they can meet their basic hunger. The package also includes personal protection gear such as masks to protect themselves from the disease. For day to day workers like vendors, their daily hungers are met by the money they earned that day. If they can't sell on the street, they will starve for that day. Moreover, social distancing for them is a privilege. They have been providing us with low cost food daily and now it's our time to protect them from starving. 

We have partnered with Do Eain (https://www.doheain.com), a multi heritage restoration social enterprise, who has done a comprehensive research of interviewing vendors. Currently there are 3000 vendors in the Do Eain database and the number is growing as more vendors need our help. Every Friday Do Eain disburses funds of 10,000MMK ($7.12), two days worth of minimum wage, to each vendor in different townships along with PPE for them to go through this difficult time. 

How your money is being used for phase II?

1. BridgeBurma collects the donation from you in GoFundMe

2. Every time we raised 2,000,000MMK ($1424.18), we send the fund to Do Eain.

3. The next Friday, Do Eain disburses fund to 200 vendors in Downtown Yangon, Sanchaung, Hlaing Thar Yar and Dawbon townships. Each vendor receives 10,000MMK ($7.12), two days worth of minimum wage.

BridgeBurma Current Campaign Balance:

~ April 26th : Phase 1 donation of 12,500 masks to Myanmar Ministry of Health = $1347

~ May 22nd : Phase 2 donation of 2,000,000MMK to 200 vendors                                = $1424.18

~ May 16th  :  Money remaining right now in our account                                                     = $555.82


As the street vendors number grew, we are in need of more funding to support them through this difficult time. Please support and share this campaign so that we can keep prevent more vendors from starving. 

BridgeBurma community is a group of Burmese students from across the world, who founded the platform to support local students and the local community in Burma(Myanmar) by project-based local training programs, pathways to global opportunities and organization partnerships. And in the time of COVID19, we have come together to fundraise for Myanmar’s doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals and now focusing on the street vendors. 

All our proceeds will go to individual street vendors so let's help them out! We can do it together.

For friends in Myanmar, if you want to donate, transfer the funds to the following acc:

CB Bank Account No. – 2011600100005509
KBZ Bank Account No. - 07230199910733701

Please message us on https://www.facebook.com/bridgeburma/ if you have any more questions. 

Street Vendor Collection Method by Doh Eain

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With Many Thanks,
BridgeBurma Mentors
www.bridgeburma.com

Photo- Nyein Su Wai Kyaw Soe
Photo- Phyo Maung Maung - AFP/Getty Images

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Organizer and beneficiary

Myanmar Youths in USA 
Organizer
Rochester, NY
Khin Myint Myat Zin 
Beneficiary
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