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Karuna ends Nargis relief programs

Church in Myanmar hands recovery responsibilities to villagers

Karuna ends Nargis relief programs
Village committee members with Bishop John Hsane Hgyi and Karuna staff at the Sacred Heart Minor seminary, in Mayanchaung reporter, Pathein

January 21, 2011

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Karuna Pathein Social Service (KPSS) in Myanmar has placed responsibility for continued recovery efforts in Nargis affected areas in the hands of local villagers ending three years of emergency assistance. The Catholic Church’s social arm staged the handover to the Village Development Recovery Committee (VDRC) at a special two-day ceremony at the Sacred Heart Minor seminary compound in Mayanchaung, Pathein diocese. About 100 VDRC members from 21 villages in the Irrawaddy Delta attended the “evaluation and handover” gathering, yesterday and today. Father Henry Eikhlein, director of the KPSS, described the gathering as a meeting of family members and to hand over Karuna’s tasks to the villagers thereby ending one chapter and starting another. “Our main aim at this gathering is to have good relationship with the villagers from VDRC and have good discussions,” Raymond Soe Lay, a KPSS livelihood project worker told The villagers were able to draw up development programs with us during the two day program, Soe Lay said. “It’s good to have self-reliance and to be free from depending on others,” Bishop John Hsane Hgyi of Pathein diocese said. Karuna has done many things to help them over the last three years, now it’s time for villagers to take responsibility and work for the development of their own villages, he said. “I feel very sad Karuna is stopping their programs but it’s time for us to look after ourselves,” Joseph Than Win, the VRDC leader of Tayokegone village said. More than 140,000 people died and hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed when Cyclone Nargis struck the delta in May 2008. Related reports Nargis survivors build strong community spirit Nargis battered farmers struggle to find food MY12964.1637
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