BHM is honored to be a recipient of a grant from Dining for Women in support of our backpack medic teams. The Backpack teams are doubly empowering to women in Burma. Firstly, the teams largely consist of women – in both medic and leadership positions. This provides women in ethnic areas of Burma with a valuable skill set and position of respect within their communities. Secondly, the population the medics treat largely consists of women, girls and children.
We are very impressed not only by the kindness and generosity of Dining for Women, but also by the thoughtfulness and high level of interest and engagement demonstrated by the individual women involved with this wonderful organization. So with the permission of the individuals involved, we wanted to share this email exchange with you between Patricia Zambor, Co-chapter Leader of the Winston Salem, NC Dining for Women Chapter and Michael Isherwood, Chair of the BHM board.
On Sept 04, 2017 Priscilla Zambor wrote:
As a DFW chapter in Winston Salem, NC, we are most excited to present BHM’s program to our members this coming Wednesday evening. Quite a few members of our chapter volunteer with Karenni refugees who have been resettled from Thai camps. Some have been in our city for 8 years, and many have become US citizens. Some of the Karenni have even ventured back to Thailand and Burma recently to visit family members who remain behind. I’m telling you all of this, to explain our enthusiasm in presenting your program.
One question that has already arisen has to do with the current conflict in Myanmar with the Rohingya minorities fleeing to Bangladesh. Does Burma Humanitarian Mission have any future plans to come to the aid of those Rohingya, as their plight is similar to those ethnic groups on the eastern and northern border of Myanmar and Thailand?
Thank you in advance for any information you can send my way. Also, thank you for all you are doing for those minorities remaining in Myanmar, because their friends and relatives have touched our hearts!
On Sep 5, 2017, Michael Isherwood wrote:
Good Evening Priscilla,
My thanks for your kind hearted support for the Karenni and others who have joined your community. What you are doing is awesome!
Burma Humanitarian Mission supports the Backpack Health Worker Teams based out of Mae Sot Thailand. The teams are recruited from the various ethnic minority groups in Burma: Karen, Karenni, Kachin, Mon, Pa’laung, Chin and yes, there’s one Rohingya team. These teams return to their communities to care for their own. Our medics are working to expand the number of teams helping the Rohingya…but that takes time. They are training Rohingya currently and giving aid as they can. The distance from eastern Burma to western Burma is a challenge. Nonetheless, we and the medics are doing all that we can at this time…and seek to increase that support.
And not that it diminishes the inhumane suffering of the Rohingya, but the Burma army attacks on a nearly daily basis Kachin communities in northern Burma…and have been since June 2011. It’s heart breaking to see all these people suffer and their stories failing to reach the media’s attention. Because of that…your compassion, attention and commitment is truly heart-warming.
On 2017-09-08 21:20, Priscilla Zambor wrote:
I just wanted to follow though and send you some pictures from our WInston Salem DFW chapter meeting last Wednesday. We had a great turnout with 4 Karenni young women as our guests. Since our facilitator and I have worked with the Karenni for such a long period of time, we were able to help them add some personal insight to your program. The video is one of the best we’ve viewed in our 5 years as a chapter. Thank you.
We did, indeed, receive questions in regards to the Rohingya and how their persecution is currently in the news. I’m happy I was able to convey your quick response to my email. Thank you for attempting to come to the aid and educate women of any ethnic minority in Myanmar!
All the best! We know Burma Humanitarian Mission will continue to succeed.