Banner image: The war-torn Karen State of Myanmar Written by Edward Lai (Senior Communications Officer) The situation of Myanmar following a military coup has captured international attention. Apart from mass protests demanding the restoration of the civilian government, tensions rise between the ethnic armed groups and the military junta. Myanmar is a multi-ethnic country, the conflict between the military and ethnic armed groups has lasted since its independence. Since the 1990s, CEDAR has been cooperating with Christian partners in Myanmar to carry out relief and development projects across the country to empower local residents to respond to different regions’ needs. Natural disasters, war and poverty have been ravaging the country for years. Yet, we have witnessed many former
Dear supporters, In early February this year, a military coup took place in Myanmar, capturing international attention. Even before the coup, CEDAR has been conducting relief work when conflict broke out in the Karen State. The relief activities were carried out in collaboration with the youth who had grown up, supported by CEDAR’s development projects. My heart is broken for those youngsters, imagining they are going through the same tumultuous experience they had in their childhood. When they were small kids, they fled to live in jungles. After years of recovery and growing up in our partner’s children home, they responded to the calling to head back to their home villages to rebuild and serve their communities. Yet
From the beginning of February, people from different industries and backgrounds have continued to come onto the streets, a site that is familiar to many. In Myanmar, there has been bloodshed, countless have been arrested during the night and news outlets remain blocked. At the time of writing, at least 50 protestors killed since the military seized control on 1 February. Sorrow, anger and fear have filled the hearts of the people in Myanmar. We pray to our loving and righteous Lord to hear and see the people’s plight and those who are mourning. Coupled alongside danger and instability is the global pandemic. This will only cause the people of Myanmar to become even more impoverished. Alongside our
Banner image: Theit Theit Shwee sewing face masks made by cloth (Source: CEDAR’s partner) “Kacha…Kacha…” Theit Theit Shwee, a woman from the slum area of Myanmar, sat in front of a sewing machine and sewed the fabric. She carefully wrapped the two white bands and sewed them with the fabric and finished making a three-layer cloth mask. This has been her daily job, making cloth masks with other women in the community center of CEDAR’s partner. Due to the local outbreak of COVID-19, Theit Theit Shwee, who was already over 40, immediately lost her job. She had been working so hard to raise her child for many years, but the pandemic has made her lose all her income.
Banner Image: Sarah Hong (far right) Written by: Sarah Hong (Participant of CEDAR’s Exposure Trip 2018) The world God first-created was in a stable and balanced peaceful condition, which illustrated Shalom. He gave us the responsibility to manage the land. Yet, we failed our task, destroyed the land and its eco-system and caused a lot of problems, such as climate change. I joined the CEDAR’s exposure trip to Thai-Burmese border and rural northern Thailand in December last year. During the trip, my companions and I visited UHDP , CEDAR’s partner. UHDP understood God’s heart for reconciling relationships between human and other aspects, including the nature. Therefore, they adopted an agricultural principle that can sustain development, protect the nature and reconcile
Banner image: Villagers who fled conflicts are temporarily living in an abandoned government office building The conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, an armed group fighting for greater autonomy in western Rakhine, has not ceased since December 2018. In June 2019, the Myanmar Government ordered telecommunications companies to shut down mobile internet service across local townships, hindering external access of updated information which the safety of civilians are of concern.  CEDAR Fund and our partner in Myanmar, Full Moon Children Development Family, began the first phase of relief work in the conflict-affected region in February 2019. Collaborating with us in relief distribution was a local team led by Pastor Aung Din, who had rich experience
Banner image: People in western Myanmar evacuated due to conflicts The Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, an armed group fighting for greater autonomy in western Rakhine, has been in conflict in Rakhine and Chin states since December of 2018. The conflict has caused over 30,000 people to flee from their homes . The Myanmar military oppressed the rebels by bombing villages and executing extrajudicial murder, which resulted in heavy injuries and deaths of the innocent. In May this year, Amnesty International gathered evidence and said that the military is committing war crimes and other human rights violations. Noticing a vast group of displaced people, CEDAR and its partner Full Moon Children Development Ministry distributed food and blankets
Since December 2018, the conflict between the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military) and the Arakan Army (AA, Rakhine rebels) in southern Chin State and northern Rakhine State had escalated, which had caused 6,000 people homeless till the mid of February. In the first week of February, there were over 180 villagers from Paletwa in Chin State fled to Bangladesh. CEDAR’s partner in Myanmar stated that there were at least 20 temporary campsites built along the border. The diaspora sojourning in the campsites urgently needs humanitarian aids now. CEDAR funded our partner* USD 18,000 (approximately HKD 141,300) this February to provide 6 days of food and blankets to 218 families from Paletwa in the temporary campsites. Temperature difference at the campsite
Banner Photo: CEDAR’s Project Officer Pui Shan visits a Rohingya family in Cox’s Bazar. The mother, who gave birth to a newborn baby, heard about infant vaccination service during regular household visit conducted by community health workers. While strolling through a muddy and dusty field, CEDAR’s Project Officer Pui Shan saw rows of tents sitting next to each other that were simply built by timber and canvas. This refugee camp is located in Cox’s Bazar, southeastern Bangladesh, which is the largest refugee camp in the world to date. The military force of Myanmar has been oppressing the Rohingya since 2017, which resulted in death of thousands and over 700,000 Rohingyas in the Rakhine State of Myanmar fleeing to
Since a renewed outbreak of conflict in Rakhine State of Myanmar in August 2017, another 702,000 Rohingya refugees arrived at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh; increasing the total refugee population to 915,000. Approximately, 1.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the area. CEDAR and other Integral Alliance(IA) members have been responding to the situation by not only providing support to the Rohingya refugees, but also assisting the host communities. CEDAR has allocated funds to support Tearfund Bangladesh and the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) to install facilities like latrines, tube wells, solar light systems; distribute items such as cooking stoves and mosquito nets; and set up Child Friendly Spaces for children and youth to learn.