Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Dump Residents Flooded - A Cry for Help

Gentle Reader,

Here is a very brief update from Saw.  It came in last night at 7:56 pm

Dear All
Information update of float
42 family lost their shelter. I received contribution 2000 baths. They are staying at school.
with best wishes


Bad news is that the number of families has increased from 35 to 42.  Good news is they are temporarily under roof and contributions are coming in.   I will have a bit more news this evening.

As of last night, 35 of 70 families residing at the Mae Sot Dump lost their homes due to flooding.  Please help!  Let suggest what to do that is easy and efficient.     Some people say I write to much so I will put the bottom line at the top and the explanations below.
Please make bank transfer to L Win Oo, account number 2122818341, Kasikorn Bank.  The phone number in the image below is that of L Win Oo whose nickname is  Saw.  If you can afford 10,000 baht great, if you can afford 1,000 great.  If you can afford just 100, your generosity will make a difference! 
Bank Transfer Information
When you make the transfer please notify by email the following people:
L Win Oo - wai.khul2011@gmail.com   
Ashin Sopaka - mettamail@gmail.com
Jerry Nelson -  Jerry@jerrynelsonphoto.com  I ask you to include me simply so I can keep track and send thank you notes as appropriate.

Over time many people have gone to the dump and left with a resolve to do something.  Some have, but most have found the whole experience overwhelming, or have not been able to keep their promises.  Some have left frustrated because of "difficult personalities".   Here is a chance to do something very easy and very useful!

As of last night 35 of the 70 homes at the Mae Sot dump have been washed away by floods.  The people are poor and have very little resources.   The situation, while not as bad as the refugee camp fire 4 months ago truly is an emergency.  These people have lost their basic shelter, clothing, food and perhaps potable water.  The rain in Mae Sot is causing flooding, mud slides.  Many roads are impassible.  The road to the dump is under water.  Saw mentioned that the water was "higher than the top of the motor cycle".
Saw took this late yesterday.  We drove down it only an hour earlier! 
THE PLAN:   We will raise money and transfer it to Saw who is in Mae Sot and will be able to make quick assessments and spend the money in the most appropriate way.   I just spoke to him and he wants to buy 35 food packets at 130 baht each.    He will let me know later this evening what other specific needs he will try to meet.   When I spoke to him a few minutes ago he let me know he had already received a 2,000 baht donation from Christina Jordon.   Hopefully we can get a few thousand more to his account by the time the bank opens in the morning!

L Win Oo (Saw) is a school teacher from a near by school.  He is also very involved in the Best Friend Library and has offered to take on the responsibility of finding out what is needed, prioritizing the needs and providing what he can with the funds we raise.   This solution is efficient because he is already on the ground, the people know and trust him.  Because he is Burmese and affiliated with the Best Friend Library there is total cooperation between he and the village headmen.
Saw, on the right, with the village headmen this past Saturday.
Saw holds umbrella for Ashin Sopaka during rice distribution last month
(notice the row of shacks in the background - now likely gone)! 
Ashin Sopaka – Co-founder of the Best Friend Library.  Although he is currently in Burma, he is providing moral support.   The last time I went to the dump I was in his company.  He shared with me that he considers the people there to be part of his family.  There is a great mutual respect.   Including him in the notifications will be one part of the verification of funds used.
Cookie Monster Monk

Ashin Sopaka listens to the Village People

"They are like my family" - Ashin Sopaka 15 June 2013

King Zero – Co-founder of the Best Friend Library.   He is currently in Mae Sot and in constant contact with Saw.  He has recently facilitated planning meetings with the village headmen, continues to support the residents and adds much credibility to any outreach to the people who reside at the dump.  Including him in the notifications will also be one part of the verification of funds used.
King Zero at meeting with Village Headmen on Saturday

Jerry Nelson -  I’m just trying to help raise some money and give you an opportunity to make a difference.

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