As promised on Sadaik’s ‘Showcased’ page, Peter Berechree has kindly given an update on his latest visit to the Pyapon area from January 11th for his DELTA Foundation …
Just back from a trip in the Ayeyarwaddy delta, checking on some projects for the DELTA Foundation. Drifting along the slow languid waters of the delta environment, watching life and livelihoods on the water. It was a very fruitful trip with many interviews with young people with disabilities and the opportunity to support them with medical treatment, access to education and vocational training programmes.
One of the highlights was to see the success of two small community free-lending libraries, initiated by DELTA and supported by the British Council library and ActionAid Myanmar. Nilar Tin from the BC library in Yangon provided 2 days of basic library training to 2 disabled girls Nwe Ni Khine (spina bifida) and Pann Ei (polio). I have called it the REAL library project, or Rural Education & Active Learning libraries.
DELTA donated the first collection of books. Some kind friends and students donated other books, magazines and journals as the second wave of books to hit the shores of the 2 small villages, Ah Phaung and Bant Bway Su. A big thank you to Chaw Myat Thiri, Tin Winn Nge, Amy, & Myat Thu Thu Soe. Pann Ei and Nwe Ni Khine were thrilled to get these new collections and set about cataloguing them immediately. They’ve almost lent out their entire collection….and they and their communities are keen to get a replenishment.
This small project could be a valuable and sustainable educational programme for remote rural communities in the delta region around Pyapon. I want to expand it to other villages, and even as far as Labutta so there can be an exchange and sharing of resources between the communities. It will continue to be focussed on encouraging and promoting the habit of reading in these riverine villages and the libraries will be run by disabled youth and adults to make their lives more productive and fulfilling.
Peter’s next visit will be at the end of February. For more information on the DELTA Foundation and the REAL project please click on the ‘Showcase’ page in the menu or read this great article in the Myanmar Times which covers the story.