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Successful reconstruction in Myanmar: 2 years after the cyclone

Over the past 2 years, Plan has been supporting rehabilitation and recovery projects in Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis. One of the major accomplishments Plan has had in Myanmar is school renovation and construction.Photo courtesy of Plan staff.
Over the past 2 years, Plan has been supporting rehabilitation and recovery projects in Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis. One of the major accomplishments Plan has had in Myanmar is school renovation and construction.

Photo courtesy of Plan staff.
May 18, 2010

Plan is winding down relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, 2 years after parts of the country were devastated by Cyclone Nargis.

The cyclone struck Myanmar in early May 2008, devastating the Ayeyarwady Delta and Yangon regions, and killing more than 140,000 people. Damage was estimated at $10 billion, and was so devastating that Plan made a special decision to work in Myanmar – even though we were not previously operating there.

Over the past 2 years, Plan has worked with the Yinthway Foundation, UNESCO’s Myanmar Education Recovery Program, the Metta Foundation and Bridge Asia Japan. In total, around 400,000 people have benefited from the relief efforts.

Plan USA raised $500,000 for Myanmar’s recovery and reconstruction, and was the second largest donor in this effort.

 

Early childhood centers

Shortly after the cyclone hit, Plan began working to create 29 emergency early childhood care and development (ECCD) centers and play areas for over 3,000 small children - essential for creating a sense of normality and starting the recovery process after such a traumatic event.

These centers also proved integral to improving the health of young children by providing a feeding program and reducing disease through a hygienic environment.

 

Rebuilding communities

After initial emergency needs of housing, food, and healthcare were addressed, Plan and its partners worked with communities to rebuild devastated villages and improve school facilities to a higher level than they were prior to the cyclone.

Because many schools were badly damaged and approximately 360,000 children were left without a place to learn, schools were a top priority. Working with local partners, Plan built and handed over 45 new schools, benefiting over 8,000 children who will restart school this July. Community members also came together to help rebuild their towns, adding new safety features to structures like bridges and watchtowers.

Plan worked to train volunteers, teachers, community members, children and young people on how best to minimize damage done by disasters through specially designed activity books and learning materials. Approximately 2,160 teachers in 7 townships received disaster risk reduction training.

The construction of a vocational skills training center is currently under construction, and once built, will serve people living in 24 villages.