Pha An, the town where I live in Kayin State, was struck by the flood for four times from August to mid-September. Lots of people suffered the devastation of natural disaster so severely that philanthropists provided them with aids. When the flood hit the town for the second time, a group of youth altruists from Yangon contacted Nyein’s state office in Kayin to give donation. Hence, Thu Thu Htwe, the area coordinator of IYCAP project and I assisted them in going to Main Ma La Kyun Village and donating there. They asked us if IYCAP youths could join them for their work. We gladly accepted their request.
On August 13th, two responsible youths from the group of donors and we went to the village to find out the situation. When we arrived at the village, we talked with the village elders and the administrator. We learned that the village was rebuilt 8 years before. The village community members are Shan, Kayin, and Mon. They all are Buddhists. Since there was a relief camp at the monastery, both adults and children stayed there. As we continued talking, I learned that there were only aid programs for the village. When I told them we would organize an event for the kids, the community members welcomed it and promised that the kids would entertain with ethnic dances in return.
The village was flooded for a month. Children could not go to school. They could not play either. There was no safe condition for the children. It might have been a traumatic experience for them. Because of this, we decided to organize an event for them. Donors from Yangon provided the community members with aid while youths of IYCAP Project planned a healing activity for the children. We included the activities like playing games, dancing, teaching how to draw in the event.
On August 14th, we began our healing journey. It was so delightful to see the children in ethnic outfits and school uniforms welcoming us in the village. We were happy with their friendliness. To get to know more, we introduced each other. After that, youth taught them chicken dance and danced together. All of the children, from very little ones to the youngsters, engaged in the activity. People took photos and children played balloon popping game tirelessly. It was fun. Youth made sure that every child took part in the event with heart and soul.
After that, youth encouraged the children to draw some pictures and make presentation on them. They were complemented for their art works. During the final part of the event, youth sang the song called “Metta Sat Waing”. Everybody listened carefully and applauded. They explained the meaning of the song and chatted with the children. In return, the children entertained with Shan traditional dance. The event was followed by group photo session. Both planning and implementation were challenging and nerve-racking. But we felt appreciated. On our departure, both adults and children waved us goodbye. The feeling of gratification dwelt in our hearts as we went back from Main Ma Hla Kyun.