Meet the Ladies Leading Burma’s Flood Relief Efforts

By The Irrawaddy 7 August 2015

Brave and generous women are pitching in across Burma to offer assistance for hundreds of thousands of people affected by recent flooding. From businesswomen channeling resources to the hardest hit areas, to celebrities using their star power to mobilize money and action, women are up to the task. Here’s what a few leading ladies had to say about their relief efforts.

Myint Myint Khin Pe, Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS)

“I receive donations in Yangon and coordinate with those who go to the flood-hit areas. We at the FFSS went to Sittwe, Kyaukphyu, Ann, Mrauk U and Kyauktaw in Arakan State, Sedottara and Pwintbyu in Magwe Division, and Kawlin in Sagaing. At present, our FFSS teams are going to Nyaungdon and Ingapu in Irrawaddy Division.

“We now provide containers for drinking water and purification tablets. We are asking for donations of rice, oil and salt. Now the FFSS has donated more than 200 million kyats in cash and in kind.”

May Thinza Oo, Actress

“I took part in a charity show to help the flood victims, and I also made a cash contribution. I also joined a philanthropic organization called “Let’s Lend a Hand”. I took part as a citizen rather than an artist, and I’m now thinking about what I can do for rehabilitation. Mainly we will donate cash contributions we collect from a charity fundraiser to groups which really help the flood victims.”

Nang Lang Kham, chairwoman of the Brighter Future Foundation and executive director of the KBZ Group of Companies

Myint Myint Khin Pe of the Free Funeral Service Society (Photo: Myint Myint Khin Pe / Facebook)
Myint Myint Khin Pe of the Free Funeral Service Society (Photo: Myint Myint Khin Pe / Facebook)
Myint Myint Khin Pe of the Free Funeral Service Society (Photo: Myint Myint Khin Pe / Facebook)

“We have been trying our best to facilitate transportation of flood relief aid and money with MAI and Air KBZ. We as an organization have also donated life jackets, rice bags, water, medicine, clothing and money. There are various relief workers and charities working effectively, so we provide them with financial support to further their efforts. Our branch staff in affected areas have also been providing food daily to the [emergency relief] camps since mid-July. Our teams are on the ground working together with locals to reach out to the more remote areas by boat. Everyone has united to help those in need.

“According to locals, the main problem is logistics because the roads and bridges cannot be used. Hence, food and water have been scarce in flood-affected regions. My friend in Hakha [Chin State] told me that food, water and clothes are most needed right now, as well as oxygen supplies in the hospitals.

“There will be a lot of rebuilding efforts needed. Starting from tackling disease, rebuilding homes, making sure children are healthy and getting back to school, and that the schools have all the teaching materials they need. We will also need to support family businesses so they can restart. There should be carefully thought out programs to support rebuilding lives so people don’t become too dependent on aid and donations alone.”

Read more about the flood crisis in Burma here.