After confirming its first two cases last March 23, fear and worry raised among citizens in Myanmar. According to local news, the Ministry of Health and Sports MOHS has announced 94 infections in total as of April 18, with the additional death bringing the number of COVID-19 death toll to five since the disease was first detected in the country. Consequently, national army events, Thingyan Water Festival, social gathering, schools, and university’s mid-term exams have been postponed urgently. Nevertheless, local philanthropists, celebrities, volunteers, citizens make the astonishing donation to help fight not just the health aspect of the virus but of socio-economic as well.
Warm Hope to us
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Source: State Counsellor Office)
Starting with the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who firstly announced in social media that “she never had any intention to use Facebook, but this time, she has the social media account created for quick and effective contact with people in facing against the COVID-19 challenges”. Moreover, she always spreads her warmth and best wishes every single time, for example she said, “We are fulfilling the requirements of the people. I am very glad to communicate with the people. My father, who was a monastic boy from central Myanmar, sometimes used to conclude his speeches using Pali words. Quoting the words of my father, ‘May all our people be free from danger.' In addition, may all the people of the world be free from danger.”
Hearty Cheerfulness makes perfect aspiration
Dhammaduta Sayadaw Dr. Ashin Chekinda, a respectful buddhist monk (Source: Facebook)
Dhammaduta Sayadaw Dr Ashin Chekinda, the presiding monk of the monastery on the outskirts of Yangon in Hmawbi Township, offered his meditation retreat to accommodate as a quarantine site for Myanmar citizens who will return from foreign countries and territories with the outbreak.
What’s more, during the monastery lockdown because of the first confirmed case on March 23, Sayadaw, Dhammaduta donors and Dhammaduta MgMal (volunteers) tried to fulfill amazingly for every necessity of the people who are in isolation. For instance, Sayadaw provides not only meals but also cordial motivation to every single one and volunteer MgMal contributed some games and letters for them. That is why, we have seen heartwarming stories of people coming together to help others by looking through their amazing support and aid against the global outbreak.
A warm letter in board games pack prepared by Dhammaduta MgMal (Volunteers)
(Source: Dhammaduta MgMal Facebook)
Respectful and honourable volunteers
Many volunteering organizations in Myanmar are playing a vital role in supporting humanitarian aid to us. “Volunteerism makes my life meaningful. It feels good to be someone who can make small contributions to the community.” said Gandamar Kyaw, Executive Coordinator of Youth Society for Education YSE. Now we are raising funds for the health matter project and food matters project. Currently, we have donated 1600 surgical masks and 400 N95 masks to government hospitals- New Yangon General Hospital, Insein General Hospital, Hlaing Thar Yar Hospital on April 6th. We are keeping 700 surgical masks and 30 N95 masks as reserve to donate to the hospitals with immediate needs."
Food Matters project by YSE (Source: Youth Society for Education Facebook)
On the other hand, one of the scout members from the Myanmar Scout Association, Amy Sein Win, shared her volunteering experience with the We Love Yangon group which is collaborating with the Young Changemakers Community to support packing goods to sell at discounted prices in times of pandemic. “Youth forces, especially their involvement, are necessarily important and accessible for all citizens against the crisis. Honestly, it is very tiring for me to pack the products the whole day, however, I hope it will be helpful for the individual inhabitants not to be infectious, instead of going out.
Youth volunteer team from Myanmar Scout Association (Source: Internet)
As our country’s medical facilities are moderately insufficient, I am extremely worried what if there was out of number and out of control over this disease. For this reason, I highly encourage all to please comprehend the current conditions”. Amy added, “Everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge and those who come after us will say our whole generation was as strong as any of the attributes of self-discipline. Happiness that was lost this year can be fulfilled next year, however, good health that were lost this year cannot be replaced with anything else”.
Packing process for goods with We love Yangon (Source: Facebook)
We are in unity!
We all know that this is an increasingly challenging time of disruption in the life of every country. This disruption has brought some financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to daily lives and those carrying out essential roles who continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all. We hope to always remember the moments for those who have come together to care. I hope that this will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit.
All things considered, although there is uncertainty over what the next months may bring, stay happy and this outbreak will be definitely eradicated from the world with our loving unity, warm kindness and cheering.