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by Shu-Wen Chiang, ACWC
After Cyclone Nargis struck the southwestern corner of Myanmar--the Irrawaddy delta region and Yongon (2-3 May 2008), until the situation in Myanmar was stable, did the ACWC Executive Secretary start her visitation to the Nargis affected areas on 06-10 July. Before the visitation, I had the chance to join the CCA meeting- in Bangkok - the special meeting for the CCA member churches and councils from Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia to determine their future plans. At the meeting we decided that the ACWC would focus on missions for women and children. According to the ACWC working plan, the Women's Committee of the MCC is the only channel for ACWC contacts in Myanmar. All of the applications from Myanmar should be endorsed by the current ACWC National Representative in Myanmar. This understanding was also accepted by the General Secretary of the MCC, Mr. Saw Shioe Lin.
Based on the special situation in Myanmar, it was inconvenient to report the details of my visitation then and there. But I can tell people that the churches and the NGOs already tried their best to work together with the Myanmar people.
I am especially glad that our Myanmar members can point out the real needs in the affected areas. They pay attention to the pregnant women (the women who lost husbands are a priority) in the affected areas. Why do many pregnant women need to be cared for? In rural areas, it is very usual for one family to raise 7 to 9 children.
When I was in Yongon, we spent two days to discuss the future plans. So far we have 2 draft steps:
The first step: Our Myanmar members will continue the current program—taking care of the pregnant women until they deliver their babies. At this moment, the MCC is promoting trauma healing and consultation in the affected areas.
The second step: Select the poorest families to give them financial support and economical training to help them be economically independent.
The whole budget is collected from Taiwan Churches. In December, the ACWC President--Nareeboon and I will meet the Myanmar members in Thailand to evaluate the programs in Myanmar.


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