The Trainer and the Assistant Trainer for the newly launched Computer Training Project at Thet Kal Thaung village, Ngapudaw Township, Ayeyarwady Region were recruited at the start of September 2017. For the purpose of local capacity strengthening and the project sustainability, the residents of Thet Kal Thaung village were encouraged to apply for the vacancies selected for the recruitment. Currently, both the Trainer and the Assistant Trainer are attending the TOT training at Yangon and once after the TOT class is completed, the two trainers will start conducting the series of computer trainings in their native village, Thet Kal Thaung.
The Trainer, Ma Yu Maw Soe is one of the alumni of KT Care Foundation scholarship program and Mg Min Thant Ko, Assistant Trainer has been one of the KT Care volunteers during the execution of health related activities in Thet Kal Thaung village. We warmly welcome them to the KT Care team!
Mg Myint Maung Maung, from Pyin Ma Gone Village, Danu Phyu Township, Ayeyarwady Region, is a 15-year-old boy with congenital cleft lips/palate. He is studying at Basic Education Grade (2) but due to his condition, he couldn‘t speak clearly and follow the lessons well. In addition, he experienced serious difficulties in his everyday life such as having meals and drinking water.
Though his parents wanted to let their son undergo re-constructive operation, the financial constraints made it impossible for them to consider the necessary surgical procedures and follow-up treatments. As a family of seasonal agricultural workers, Mg Myint Maung Maung also needs to work along with his parents in harvesting rice and bean.
Once the family learned about KT Care Foundation‘s support for cleft operations they were very excited and keen to gain the KT Care support for the treatment of their son. During the course of his operation, KT Care Foundation supported all the medical and logistic expenditures including foods, medicines, travel, accommodation and other relevant costs for the patient and his attendant as well. The operation was successfully completed by the experienced surgical team at Pin Lon Hospital and Mg Myint Maung Maung’s mother said, “I expected my son to be the same look as others. Now, as his deformity is corrected, I am very delighted and great thanks to the founder and his family of KT Care Foundation and its staff for their invaluable support and donations.”
Along with the emerging economy, many international garment corporations have moved their production to Myanmar mainly because of low-priced wages and favorable trading conditions. In a Myanmar garment industry, many of the garment factory workers come from the underserved countryside to the city peripherals to find job, residing with no electricity and clean running water supply. Additionally, many factory workers lack knowledge of healthy behaviors and practices of physical well-being. Financial insecurity compounded by low educational status influences the negative attitude towards the healthcare behaviors.
KT Care Foundation takes action on this issue along with its partner institution Business Social Responsibility (BSR) Organization. In March 2017, KT Care Foundation started organizing maternal, reproductive health and hygiene awareness raising trainings, campaigns and discussion sessions at the Mila Garden Factory located at Hlegu Township. According to the Health Needs Assessment (HNA), the priority health education subjects were identified and so far “Personal Hygiene” and “Healthy Diet, Nutritious Foods” topics have been delivered to the representative peer facilitators of the factory through four educational trainings including two inceptives courses and two refresher sessions.
One of the female factory workers; Ma Thae Thae Mon stated that she did not know the main causes of diarrhea associated communicable diseases beforehand but now she knows clearly the connection between personal hygiene and diarrheal diseases as well as the preventive measures upon completion of the KT Care trainings.
Many of the reproductive aged women working in the factory have very limited knowledge of maternal and reproductive health including antenatal, natal and post natal care. The trainings and follow-up awareness raising sessions organized by KT Care Foundation along with its trained peer facilitators will enable the uninformed female factory workers to gain knowledge on women‘s health and pregnancy care.
Ma Myat Su Mon; is one of the KT Care trained peer facilitators and she used to conduct 10 minutes participatory peer education session on “personal hygiene and negative consequences of inappropriate hygiene behaviors” for her workmates during their work break. She highlighted that sharing the important knowledge and experience with her coworkers is her blessing and she is very delighted to be a peer facilitator and receive the trainings from KT Care Foundation.
KT Care Foundation is one of the pioneer organizations providing the healthcare integrated awareness raising services to the garment factory workers of Myanmar. The foundation is proceeding to extend its activities in many other garment factories as the current efforts at the Mila Garden Factory are highly effective for the factory workers with limited resources of healthcare, education and income.
Ma Zin Mar Khine, 26 years old woman, from her birth she has difficulties in eating foods due to a cleft lips and palate. She is pale and slim due to malnutrition. Her only employment opportunity was as a hawker but she could not call out so that impaired her ability to sell. Her mother enrolled her on the list for treatment of cleft palate through KT Care as suggested by another mother whose son had received treatment for cleft lips. When she arrived in Yangon, KT Care informed her about the treatment. She feels happy to think about healing her body and living a full life since the surgery which she received on 14th July, she is now working in the Shwe Lin Ban Sewing Factory.
KT Care Foundation’s HER Project is implementing in two new factories: Hang Kei and Nexstar in Hlaing Thar Yar Township. In Nexstar and Hang Kei Garment Factory, line supervisor orientation meeting was conducted on 14th and 22nd September respectively. 16 participants from Nexstar and 32 line supervisors from the Hang Kei Factory joined the line supervisor orientation meeting. The meeting agenda provided an overview of HER Health Project and its activities, roles and responsibilities of the factory management including line supervisors and the preparatory tasks for the upcoming project events. The questions raised by the line supervisors were addressed and the meeting successfully concluded after the wrap-up session.
KT Care performed health needs assessments at Hang Kei on 26th October and Nexstar on 27th October 2017. In Hang Kei, 135 staff were interviewed for assessment and in Nexstar, 70 staff were interviewed including workers, management level staff and factory clinic personnel from both factories.
KT Care Foundation is excited to welcome 3 delegates from the SAP Social Sabbatical pro bono volunteering program from 16-27 October 2017. The delegates, from the countries of Thailand, Singapore and Philippines will help to update KT Care’s 5 year strategic plan and vision for 2020.
In partnership with PYXERA Global, the SAP Social Sabbatical program is an award-winning CSR portfolio designed to both leverage and develop talent at SAP and help mission-driven organizations; where highly diverse teams of SAP employees solve strategic challenges of non-profits and social enterprises focused on bridging the digital divide.
SAP SE (“Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing” Societas Europaea-in Latin) is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. SAP is headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Wurttemberg; with regional offices in 130 countries. The company has over 335,000 customers in over 180 countries.
KT Care Foundation is looking forward to welcoming the SAP delegates and working with them to benefit from their skills and experience.
In August, KT Care Foundation successfully offered surgeries to 18 cleft lip and palate patients from Ayeyarwaddy Region, Kayar State, Mandalay Region, Naypyitaw, Thahton, Pegu, Mawlamyine, Magway Townships. The patients are from the families of low socio-economic status across various regions of the country comprising 11 kids and 7 adults. Mya Hnin Hmwe from Danuphyu Township is 27 years old and suffering from cleft lip/palate and her family earns income as seasonal workers. As a consequence of the cleft lip and palate, she has difficulties in many ways while eating and speaking; including spitting out of food from her mouth and unclear verbal communication.
The patient’s father, U Than Hmwe, said “We didn’t dare to think about this treatment. KT Care Foundation gives us that chance. I feel pleased as punch about it.’’
Ma Mya Hnin Mhwe said ‘I feel shame about it. But I can’t afford treatment. Now I’m very glad. After my treatment, I’ll return to my home and make a career with sewing. Sewing is my hobby and though I’m not expert in it I’ll try that happily for my future.
The patient’s facial features improved after the surgery by a talented team of medical surgeons and now her post-operative conviction is stable. In the future, she can live her life with full of confidence and improved abilities which will provide more opportunities and motivation for her livelihood and enable her to contribute to her family as well.
In August, KT Care Foundation in partnership with New Look-New Life Organization accomplished 18 successful operations of cleft lip and palate like Ma Mya Hnin Hmwe’s.
Mg Maw Shae, 4 years old, is from a small village near Chaung Thar Beach. He was orphaned at the age of 10 months and left with his grandmother. Since then, he has not been receiving constant care as his aging grandmother can not take care of him.
The Kyae Zuu Daw organization has since adopted him. At 10 months of age, he was the youngest child among 38 orphans. There was a concern due to his cleft palate which prevented his learning to talk. In 2016 March, KT Care received an inquiry from Kyaw Zuu Taw organization whether cleft palate surgery support would be possible for Maw Shae, who is unable speak and sing clearly like other children.
For those with cleft lip and cleft palate, air escapes out of the nose when they speak and there is less tissue on the roof of the mouth for the tongue to touch. This creates difficulties in speaking and correct pronunciation. As a child who lives in the Christian orphanage, his guardian couldn’t afford the medical expenses for his surgery. However, KT Care has provided life-changing surgery for his cleft palate and also supported additional charges including transportation, accommodation and meal costs.
In the year following his surgery, Maw Shae has become healthy and plays among the other children now. We asked how his life has changed and his guardian replied, “He has become a very brainy one. And can speak and sing songs well like a famous singer. That’s why we’re very happy hearing his clear voice even though we’re not his parent”. “Now, he is learning in the KG class at primary school together with his classmates. If he hadn’t received support from KT Care last year, he would still be suffering the consequences of cleft palate, stigmatized by peers and not learning well in the KG class as he is now,” says his guardian.
Action Aid Myanmar has exposed the condition of women workers in Yangon through the Safe Audit Report which was conducted in 10 factories in Yangon Division. One of the research findings is that the health care system in factories still needs to improve. Though there are clinics in factories the services offered are varied. In some factories, medicines and skilled nurses are inadequate, some clinics have one blood pressure monitor and only alcohol for small injures.
According to a case study in the report, one helper in the factory who doesn’t have any medical knowledge gave the wrong medicine to an sick worker. The research recommends to establish health and safety committees in factories and ensure that workers are provided with education and training concerning their rights and also highlights the status of women factory workers in Myanmar in accessing health care and safety in workplaces. In Myanmar, there are approximately 440 garment factories with around 300,000 workers and most of them are women.
Ref: Safety Audit on Women Garment Factory Workers in Yangon by Action Aid
Learning to speak English is a part of Myanmar education, where every student has to learn English from pre-elementary school. But there are many students who can’t speak and pronounce English well. For students with cleft lip and cleft palate it is even worse. It is common for students who are born with a cleft lip and palate to have speech problems at some time in their learning lives. According to an estimate based on records from the Central Women’s Hospital in Yangon, between 6,000 and 8,000 children in Myanmar are born with cleft lip and cleft palate every year.
Khine Zin Htun from Ngapudaw Township is 8 years old and her family earns income as seasonal workers. Although she passed grade two, she still faces many difficulties in her schooling due to being born with cleft lip and cleft palate. “When she pronounces English words, the words are really unclear. I worry about her future education with her cleft lip and palate”, said her father U Cho Cho Lin. Khine Zin Htun’s father is worried about her future education as other students will have much more skill with English as she gets older.
For those with cleft lip and cleft palate, air escapes out of the nose when they speak and there is less tissue on the roof of the mouth for the tongue to touch, so this creates difficulties in speaking and correct pronunciation. However, KT Care Foundation changed the life of Khine Zin Htun and improved her chances for better education by enabling her to have surgery to correct these difficulties. Through his local network, U Cho Cho inquired about cleft lip and palate surgery for his daughter and he was directed to KT Care Foundation for potential support. As a seasonal worker he couldn’t afford the medical expenses for her surgery, however KT Care provided the cleft lip and palate surgery free of charge through it’s partner organization “New Look, New Life” and also supported additional expenses including transportation, accommodation and meal costs during the duration of the trip to Yangon.
U Cho Cho is very thankful to the KT Care Foundation for helping his daughter’s cleft lip and cleft palate. “I will train my daughter to improve her English pronunciation.Without KT Care’s help, my daughter could not pronounce English words correctly”, said her Father.