BALAIDUNPAIK HOSPITAL PROJECT
Balaidunpaik is a village in Burma, close to the Thai border. The hospital building project was funded and supported by Firefly Mission from Singapore. Firefly Mission is a humanitarian organization based on the teachings of Buddhism. Living conditions are very basic in Balaidunpaik, where there is no tap water supply and houses are primarily built with bamboo. The previous wooden medical clinic was on the verge of collapsing so a new medical clinic was necessary so that the villagers could seek treatment in times of need.
The clinic consists of an emergency room, a dormitory for the medics, an out-patient facility, a laboratory, and two water tanks to store rainwater. A lot of building materials, including pebbles and boulders from the river bed nearby, were acquired to be more cost-efficient. A solar system has recently been installed to aid financial costs as electricity is needed for the refrigerated storage unit and lighting.
The clinic is run by local medics who can carry out basic medical procedures including suturing, malaria tests and diagnosis, and child delivery. The clinic is limited in terms of medical supplies, although we do bring supplies when we can. Procedures like suturing often involve the use of anesthetics, which are not widely available in the area. We have been looking at alternatives such as topical anesthetic spray.
This project was completed in July 2017. Our gratitude goes out to everyone who has made this project possible, from the sponsors to the volunteer villagers. Through this project, we have also had the chance to learn more about the current needs of the local community, including the school building project in Teewado.
TEEWADO SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECT
This project is the construction of a school in Teewado village in Burma, a Karen village 15 minutes’ drive away from the site of Balaidunpaik Hospital Building Project.
The previous school in the village had very limited space and could only accommodate 4 classes from Grade 1 to Grade 4, after which the children had to travel to another village for further education. Without any other forms of transportation, most children had to walk their way to school on muddy trails. There were no separate classrooms at the school, all classes were taught in a big hall, which caused a lot of distraction when different classes were going on at the same time. On top of that, the school structure did not let in a sufficient amount of light and there is no consistent source of electricity in the village. This can be a significant hurdle to teaching in the rainy season when sunlight is scarce.
Ms. Trecia Lim, an architect from Singapore, kindly offered to assist us with this project. She visited the site in October 2017 and planned to use local materials as much as possible for cost and energy efficiency. Building materials such as cement, metal frames, and roofing materials had to be bought from outside the village and transported to the building site. The new school was completed in 2019, whilst the old school was transformed into a library. The school has separated classrooms, energy-efficient lighting, and a water purification system as well. School supplies such as books, pencils, and blackboards were also donated as part of the project.
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