People in Salesian communities and people who are internally displaced in Myanmar* received medication and other health support thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.While initially wanting to set up a clinic, Salesians had to shift how they provided health services in a country that has been experiencing political turmoil since a military coup in February 2021.
Doctors were unable to come to a Salesian clinic and the need was far reaching outside of Salesian communities. As a result, Salesians used donor funding to send medicines to people most in need. If medicine couldn’t reach them, Salesians sent funding so that items could be purchased locally to address the overwhelming need.
Father Khun Myat Victor, provincial economer in Myanmar, said, “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the financial support donors have provided for the poor people who are staying in our communities and in refugee camps in different parts of our country. With their generous support, we provided health support for 500 people.”
The military takeover of the democratically elected National League For Democracy Government has unleashed an unprecedented political, socioeconomic, and humanitarian crisis on top of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, sending the country into a dangerous spiral of conflict and poverty, according to the United Nations. There has been significant displacement, human suffering, asset depletion, rising food insecurity and reversal of many of the development gains made in recent years. Nearly 50% of the population is estimated to be living in poverty.
Salesian missionaries are responding to the needs of children, youth and their families who are in crisis. Not only do programs address desperate poverty, but they also serve people whose lives have recently been impacted by natural disasters and a refugee emergency.