Update January 2022
Since the military junta staged a coup last February, they have killed 1500 civilians- an average of 4 civilian-murders a day, and this figure is thought to be conservative (Source: AAPP). They have burned entire towns, returned tortured bodies back to families, shot children while they were in their parents’ arms and yet the international community has done nothing to hold them to account. It is barely mentioned in the media.
The current military offensive is against Loikaw- my second home in Myanmar where I set up a primary school and where my teachers, my students, my incredible head teacher live.
Against all odds the school in Loikaw was able to get back up and running after the fighting that displaced a hundred thousand back in May ebbed and become more intermittent. Lessons were sporadic and multi-grade, but the teachers were doing everything they could to ensure the students had access to some level of learning J On Christmas Eve they organised a virtual carol service for me- almost a hundred little kids excitedly singing Feliz Navidad J
In the last two weeks however, Loikaw, the city where the school is, has been the military’s new target and they have launched a full-on offensive. There have been almost daily airstrikes and soldiers have been rampaging the city- shooting and looting. It is not clear yet how many civilians have died.
Learning- and singing- is on hold again while everyone is focused on surviving. Most of my teachers and students are now hiding in the remote villages or the jungle, some joining the makeshift camps for the thousands of internally displaced people. My head teacher and my co-founder are refusing to leave, determined not to leave behind the elderly and sick who cannot flee the fighting.
At the moment I can still get money directly to them. They need money to get food, medicine, blankets for the 300 sick and elderly now in their care and they are still managing to get money out to the camps outside the city. If you haven’t already given, please give now. Just click to donate.
More information in these incredible but heart-breaking articles:
Imagine if the army turned up on your street and started shooting indiscriminately or if the sound of planes was a cause to grab your child and run not knowing where the next set of shells would fall. This is exactly what is happening in places across Myanmar.
In the last four weeks over 100,000 people in just one of the states- Kayah state- have fled their homes due to military attacks. I had lived in Myanmar for several years and had set up a primary school in Kayah. Right now though, most of our students and their families are hiding in the jungle and my teachers are desperately trying to buy and deliver basic supplies. The UN have warned of “mass deaths from starvation, disease and exposure”.
All the money raised here directly supports these families to survive. Please donate.
When the fighting first started, many initially hid in our school buildings on the edge of town: mothers and babies in the classrooms while over a thousand others lived in makeshift shelters in our playground. When the military then shot a civilian on the school compound, the whole group fled again. They have now joined the thousands of others hiding in the jungle. In the jungle though there is no fresh water, little food and with the monsoon breaking there is now an urgent need for shelter and medicine to prevent wide-spread disease.
Your money can help these families survive. All the money from this campaign goes directly to those in need. I speak to my teachers nearly every day and have a direct and tested way of getting these funds to them.
The nightmare which our students and the community are experiencing is the result of the military’s attempted coup on February 1st 2021. In its bid to take power the military detained the elected government, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and has violently tried to suppress the protests. Over 850 civilians have been killed by the national security forces, among them at least 73 children. Nearly 5000 people have been arrested and a growing number severely tortured.
The military has not yet been able to suppress the protests nor consolidate their power. The people have too much to fight for. After 50 years of military dictatorship, Myanmar has just had 10 years of an emerging democracy which has given them hope and a future worth fighting for.
No one knows what will happen in Myanmar but there is still a chance the people can win back their country and their futures - if they get the support they need. The international community unfortunately is not providing enough support and the large humanitarian agencies are struggling to navigate the risks and logistics of getting supplies to where they are needed. The support therefore has to come from the likes of you and me through direct cooperation with the brave communities looking out for each other.
People in Myanmar are not giving up on this hope. Their resilience and determination to win back their democracy is phenomenal. Every penny (ideally pound) you donate not only provides what’s needed to live but sustains their hope and strength to keep going.
Please donate now. And please share this with others- we can only reach as far as our own network.
This fundraiser is for families in Kayah where we have a direct route to get money to our teachers to distribute supplies. There are though lots of other equally important fundraisers that you could choose to support. There is so much need across the country. Please support something - the innocent people of Myanmar deserve a chance This link is one of the ones we regularly support: https://www.mutualaidmyanmar.org/cdm-fund. There are lots of others links here: https://www.isupportmyanmar.com
Please contact me through the contact button below if you have any questions.