This latest report covers Firefly Mission’s projects in Myanmar from 2003 to 2018. Myanmar is where FFM started our first oversea project back in 2003 and of now, we have involved in numerous projects across Myanmar covering Education & school, Medical & Health, Community welfare, Relief & rehabilitation etc.
On 1 Oct 2005, Firefly Mission (FFM) was official registered as a society in Singapore. The first overseas project, “Song of Apsaras” focused on health and community welfare in Myanmar. It is during then, FFM established the network and contacts for Myanmar.
On 2 May 2008, Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar, crossing the south of the country over two days, and devastating the Ayeyarwady Delta region. According to official figures, 150,000 people were killed. However as many Myanmar villagers are not registered, the actual death toll may be much higher. A total of 37 townships were significantly affected by the cyclone. The UN estimated that as many as 2.4 million people were affected.
FFM started the immediate relief work for the natural disaster and has since then provided rehabilitation works to the affected Cyclone Nargis areas and other parts of Myanmar. FFM has provided necessary educational, medical and sanitation infrastructures to the communities in Myanmar amounting to over S$3.5mil.
Summary of projects
- Song of Apsaras
- Immediate flooding relief work in 2008, 2015 and 2018
- Children Sponsorship Program
- Build hostels and facilities for Shwegyin Youth Development Centre
- Build 65 schools/hostels
- Build and provide 10 medical clinics/ medical facilities
- Build 94 wells
- Build 3 bridges
- Build 1 jetty
- Cataract Eye Operation
- Feeding program @ Pyin Oo Lwin
[Song of Apsaras]
In 2001, partnering with Burmese Buddhist Temple, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, National University of Singapore Buddhist Society and Palelai Buddhist Temple; the group embarked on the “Song of Apsaras Humanitarian Mission” to the Union of Myanmar. With this initial humanitarian mission, the group became known as the Firefly Mission and was officially registered under the Societies Act, Singapore in 2005 (UEN: T05SS0200D).
Community Welfare & Education Project
Benefited : 10 orphanages, schools (include special schools for the deaf, blinds & disabled) and monasteries.
Sponsored : Over 50 volunteers from our partnering organizations
- S$20,000 worth of goods was donated (medicine, milk powder, book, stationery, cloth, computer, printer, toys)
- S$15,000 went to building a village school, constructing a deep-well for drinking and purchasing a power generator for a school.
Hearing Aids Project
Benefited: 260 sets of hearing aids
2 sets of hearing test equipments were donated to the Dept. of ENT Surgery, Yangon General Hospital.
Sponsored: – 20 volunteers, majority were medical students at the National University of Singapore and a surgeon.
- 2 doctors and an audiologist were sponsored for the trainers’ training program at the Siemens Medical Instruments, Singapore
[Immediate flooding relief work in 2008, 2015 and 2018]
Immediate Relief work :
6 relief teams from Singapore arrived in Myanmar from May 2008 to Jan 2009 at the disaster affected villagers.
- Donated more than 1,000kg of Relief Medicine to Hospitals in Bogale, Pyapon and Dedaye.
- Purchased and donated more than 1,100 sets of Utensils, clothing, mosquito nets and etc to villages in Bogale, Dedaye, Moulmeingyun & Pyapon townships.
- Purchased & donated more than 100 tonnes of Rice, Dahl, Cooking Oil, Onions and etc to villages in Bogale, Dedaye, Moulmeingyun & Pyapon townships.
Rehabilitation Work (Restoration of livelihood and school) :
- Replanting of paddy fields (more than 4,200 acres) for 13 villages at Bogale & Moulmeingyun Townships.
- Donation of tilling machines (to replace buffaloes killed by the cyclone)
- Repaired 2 badly damaged monasteries to be used as temporary school accommodating for about 300 students.
- Distributed stationeries to school children in rural school at Bogale, Dedaye, Moulmeingyun and Pyapon township
Severe flooding in Myanmar began in July 2015 and continued into September, affecting 12 of the country’s 14 states, most of the damages were reported from the Irrawaddy Delta.
Firefly Mission received request for help from Sayadaw Kevala, Bhante Aggasara, Bhane Vanasiri and Bhante Sopaka. These respectable Sangha members have been FFM”S trusted partners in compassion, for most of our projects and programs in Myanmar, since 2004. They have reached out to the victims at various affected areas.
On Jun 2018, heavy monsoon rain hit Myanmar. FFM sponsorsed home, Shwergyin Homes is a centre for the villagers affected by the flood.
2/3 of Shwegyin and nearby 10 villages are flooded and over 10,000 flood victims are in camps in Shwegyin. Swergyin Homes are helping by distributing food, purified drinking water, medicines, transportation and other supplies.
[Children Sponsorship Program]
Children sponsorship programme is in support of children who come from extremely poor families who are unable to support their livelihood and education as well as children who were orphaned by Cyclone Nagis. The children are staying in the the Shwegyin Youth Development Centre located in Shwegyin and is managed by Parahita (Charitable) Monastery.
The sponsorship programme started in March 2009 with 50 children and has increased to 150 children in 2014.
[Build hostels and facilities for Shwegyin Youth Development Centre]
The Shwegyin Youth Development Centre (YDC) provides accomodation, education and vocational training to equip the children and youths to be ready for the society.
Summary FFM in Shwergyin YDC
- Girls’ Hostel
- Boys’ Hostel
- Water Tank
- Dining Hall cum Classrooms
- Work shop
- Shwegyin Girls’ Toilet cum Overhead Water Tank
- Transport Lorry
[Build schools/ hostels]
FFM works closely with the Venerables in Myanmar as well as the local communities. The Venerables in Myanmar are highly respected by the locals, they were able to direct and take the leading role of gathering the villagers to engage in the task of rehabilitation. It is the positive response and engagement of communities that enabled the success and continuation of the school building projects by Firefly Mission.
Prior to the building of the schools, the project team consulted the local village communities and also requested the local Venerable to assist in overseeing the projects. Several site meetings were arranged to enable the various parties to discuss their needs and concerns. The respective village school committee has to lodge a caveat with Venerable before the construction begins, thus the completed school building is owned by the individual village themselves.
Since the beneficiaries were the local villages, the villagers of the respective village would help to carry building materials from the boat to the construction site. During the construction, the villagers were also engaged in carrying the menial work thereby freeing skill workers to concentrate on the job. The villagers are also required to plant trees to restore the environment and its watershed protection capabilities. The team worked well together and was able to complete the projects in good time.
Each school project design package usually consists of:
- School block
- Pump and Water tank system
School completed in 2008
1) Shauk Chaung Village School
2) The Pye Chaung Village School
School completed in 2009
3) Upper Gyo Phyu Village School
4) Lower Gyo Phyu Village School
5) Kyaung Tawya Aung Hlaing School
6) Kayanthi Chaung School ( Bogale Township )
7) Kanazo Chaung Lay School
8) Phoe Chit School – Sponsored by Elsie Ling & family
9) Tasay Chaung School
10) Kyun Chaung School
11) Kyonthin School – ( Pyapon Township )
12) Nyein Oo School
13) Gwe Kone School – ( Dedaye Township )
School completed in 2010
14) Hmat Taing School
15) Thorkay School – ( Kungyangon Township, Yangon Division ) IMO U Khin Naing
16) Laputtalokgyi School 90’x30’ – IMO Lee Hong Seong
17) Kanni School 80’x30’ – ( Laputta Township )
18) Nyi Naung Lay School – Sponsored IMO Chin Lee Bee
19) Htantabin Life’s Skill School ( Pyinmana – Nay Pyi Taw)
20) Kindergarten in Lashio
21) Middle school in Kyaukme
22) Teacher’s hostel in Lets Sway Village, Mahlaing Tsp
School completed in 2011
23) Nyi Naung Gyi School – Sponsored Singapore Red Cross
24) Ein Kyin Tataung School – Sponsored Singapore Red Cross
25) Pwe Dan Aung Hlaing School – Sponsored Singapore Red Cross
26) Pwe Dan Pye Chaung School
27) Hsin Ma School 90’x30’
28) Minkha Chaung School
29) Kanazo Chaung Gyi School
30) Dhaung Oo Toe School
31) Shwe Pyi Aye School ( In Maw Gyun Town ) – Sponsored Diong Jia Ning & Diong Jia Sen
32) Gabyo Village School – Gabyo Tsp Chua Chong Jin I/M Parents
School completed in 2012
33) Kyi Chaung School – 80’x30’ – Sponsored by Brian Toh Xun Hao & Tara Toh Ying Ying
34) Thayea Chaung School – Sponsored Singapore Red Cross & FFM
35) Gwaygon School 60’x30’ – Sponsored by Catherine Chee
36) Kyar Chaung School 90’ x 30’
37) Delinleizek School
38) Nyi Naung School, Wakema Tsp- Sponsored by Tee Koon Kiong
39) Kyauk Thaing Village School
School completed in 2013
40) Ywa Thit Village School- Sponsored by Buddhist Fellowship & FFM
41) Meza Oo Taung Bon Village School – Sponsored by Buddhist Fellowship & FFM
42) Thonegwa Village School – Mawlamyine Tsp. – Sponsored by Buddhist Fellowship & FFM
43) Kan Kwin Village School – Mawlamyine Tsp.- Sponsored by Buddhist Fellowship & FFM
44) Kungyangon Ywathit Village School – Kyaunggon Tsp – Sponsored by Buddhist Fellowship & FFM
45) Shwehinthagyun Village School 60 ft x 30 ft – Sponsored by Family of Corina & William Yeoh
IMO Mr Yeoh Cheang Seng & Mdm Teoh Koon Gaik
46) Delinleizek Village School 120 ft x 30 ft – Mawlamyine Tsp -Sponsored by IMO Parents Mr Low Seng Kim & Mdm Tan Siang Lang, Sis Siew Kheng, Meo Kheng, Siew Huay, Siew Kiang, Siew Eng, Siew Tiang & Brothers Hwee Chiang & Hwee Huan
47) Aseizu Village School – Mawlamyine Tsp –Sponsored by Jerry Ong Hian Seng
48) Yathar Village ( Myingyan Tsp ) Primary School Building
49) Yathar Village ( Myingyan Tsp ) Middle Schools Building
50) Yathar Village ( Myingyan Tsp ) High Schools Buildings
51) Yathar Village (Myingyan Tsp) Library block
52) Shwegyin Town School
53) Ziphyugon Village School – 90 ft x 30 ft ( Yamethin Tsp., )
54) Chaung Mito Village School – 80 ft x 30 ft Depayin Tsp
School completed in 2014 /2015
55) Kanyin Village School – Mawlamyine Tsp
56) Terapyi Village School – Mawlamyine Tsp.
57) Wetkamu Village School – 120 ft x 30 ft – Lewe Tsp
58) Chaungwa Village School
59) Yoke Saing Village School – 3 Storey building
School completed in 2016
60) School Building in Sitkone Village, Maubin township- partial sponsorship FFM
School completed in 2017
61) Pyinnya Shwe Bon Monastic Educational School – 2 classroom – Sponsored by Wilson Toh & Melinda Toh-Ng
62) Gyuthiri High School in Bagan – Sponsored by Tan Bee Bee
63) Thaw Ka Maung Boys Hostel at Taung Sun
School completed in 2018
64) YwarYar (Wyaya) Village School near Bagan
65) Pyinnya Shwe Bon Monastic Educational School – 1 classroom
[Build Clinic & Medical Facilities]
Clinic & Medical Facilities completed in 2009
1)Taman Village Clinic – ( Bogale Township )- Sponsored by Chia Jin Hong, Leon
2) Byaingisi Village Clinic – ( Pyapon Township )- Sponsored by Chia Jia Hong, Keith
3)Nyein Oo Clinic – ( Mawlamyinegyun Township ) – Sponsorsed by IMO Mdm Lee Kian Neo, Mr Phua Khim, Mdm Tan Thek, Mr Chong Lian, Mdm Lam Eng, Mdm Lam Siew Khim, Rejoice Phua, Dharna Phua
Clinic & Medical Facilities completed in 2011
4) Nyein Oo Maternity Hut
Clinic & Medical Facilities completed in 2012
5) Nyein Oo Clinic Extension ( New Operating Theatre )
6) Kungyangon Ywathit Village Clinic – Kyaunggon Tsp., Ayeyarwaddy Delta -Sponsorsed by Goh Khoon Lim & family
Clinic & Medical Facilities completed in 2013
7) Chaung Mito Village Clinic – Depayin Tsp., Sagaing Region
8) Htantabin Monastery Oxygen Dispensary – Nay Pyi Taw
Htantabin Monastery Oxygen Dispensary supply free oxygen cylinders. The dispensary supply oxygen to the poor families and also help to dispense oxygen to 3 hospitals in the areas. It is managed by Sayadaw Kaywala, who is chief abbot of Htantabin Monastery.
Clinic & Medical Facilities completed in 2016
9) Htantabin Monastery Ambulance – Sponsored by IMO Mr Bay Tan Wah
Htantabin Monastery Lorry/ ambulance – Sponsored by Bita Seow & family
In Myanmar, many poor people who are sick and have to travel long distances to reach health facilities, by carts, public buses, or boats. The free ambulance service provides medical treatment to people who have difficulties to travel to the hospital .
The lorry also works as ambulance to ferry the people as work as to transport the oxygen cylinder
Clinic & Medical Facilities completed in 2017
10) Dey Kyite Village Clinic
Deep water well system benefiting more than 30,000 villagers.
Wells – Total 94
60 wells – Completed 2009 -2011
12 wells – Completed 2012
10 wells – Completed 2013
2 wells – Upper Myanmar
10 wells – Mawgyun 2014
1) Nyein Oo – Completed in 2010.
2)Tha Pay Chaung Chaung – 2010 Completed
3) Mayan Village 215 feet – 2014 completed – Sponsored by Lim family
1) Nyein Oo Jetty – 2010 Completed -Sponsored by IMO Mak Tack Meng
[Cataract Eye Operation]
Myanmar rural areas are mainly farmers who works long hours under the sun. Cataract is an increasingly common problem for the villagers. The annual eye cataract operation usually carried out during the Myanmar New Year in April is led by Dr Sa J Lwin with other volunteer doctors & nurses from Yangoon at the Nyein Oo Village, FFM Medical clinic.
Period: Since Apr 2010
Benefits: FFM sponsorship has brought sight for more than 1,400 patients.
[Feeding program @ Pyin Oo Lwin]
Support for the Feeding program @Pyin Oo Lwin is initiated by Sis Shuyin in January 2017. The Feeding Program is started by Min and Daw Ya Min, a teacher, once a week, she and a few volunteers cook a meal for the children as an important supplement to their diet.
In order to make the programme more effective, Sis Shuyin submitted a proposal to make the meal more nutritious by adding eggs, oats, barley, gingko nuts or other vitamin rich food to improve the quality. Starting with one location, the cost is US$50 per shanty per week. This would be 50×52= US$2,600 or $3,640 per shanty per year.
2017 – Benefited 600 children
Firefly Mission would like to express its deep gratitude and thanks to all the people who have made this partnership project possible.
- Venerables in Myanmar
- All sponsors and donors for the various projects
- Bro Ng Yee Kong – FFM Myanmar Coordinator in Singapore
- Bro Loo Kim Lye – FFM Myanmar Coordinator in Singapore
- Sis Melinda Toh – FFM Myanmar Children Sponsorship Coordinator
- Bro ST Chan – FFM Myanmar Coordinator in Myanmar (former)
- Sis Sandy Lee – FFM Myanmar Children Sponsorship Coordinator (former)
- Volunteers of Firefly Mission Singapore
- Other well-wishers and volunteers, too numerous to be named
For further information related to this report, please contact:
… together we light up the world
Report by: Michelle Lee
7 August 2018