Volunteerism Spirit at Hakha General Hospital - MyanmarWritten by Cristina
International Volunteer Day (IVD) commemorated with massive Volunteerism Spirit at Hakha General Hospital, Chin State-Myanmar on 10th December 2013.
IVD 2013 Theme: “Young. Global. Active.” International Volunteer Day (IVD) for Economic and Social Development was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 1985. Since then the UN system, governments, the private sector and civil society organizations have successfully joined volunteers to celebrate the Day every 5th December globally. On this front, after a series of IVD 2013 planning meetings coordinated by UNDP Hakha team, the IVD focus was put on supporting Hakha General Hospital given to recent reports showing the slow strides in Myanmar health standards generally. The IVD event was celebrated on 10th December also marking the International day of Human rights and the climax of 16 Days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV). The key objectives of IVD 2013 ranged from; creating awareness and inspiration for promotion and recognition of volunteerism and its contribution to peace and development, creating a fundamental impact on the lives of people through improving the provision of the right to Health by caring for the sick, registering for donating blood and also advocating for the hospital to gain much attention and support as well as cementing solidarity among participating member organisations.
In fulfilling the Theme for IVD 2013, Health-oriented cleaning activities were undertaken by volunteers mobilized from several partner UN Agencies, hospital personnel, partner organizations and institutions, community members, the media and interested individuals in Hakha township-Chin State.
In his opening remarks, International UN Volunteer and Area Office Management Specialist, Moses Tumusiime (UNDP Hakha) urged all members present to dedicate their efforts to service for others in promoting Peace and development. He added that the global theme for IVD 2013 “Young. Global. Active.”, accords special tribute to the contributions of youth volunteers as agents of change in their communities. He commended all volunteers present for their dedication to uplift community development and bring about positive change in Chin state and Myanmar generally. A moment of silence was made in honour of the late Nelson Mandela a great icon for peace, forgiveness and solidarity across the globe.
At the end of the IVD 2013 event, activities undertaken by volunteers had far-reaching effects not only to the general improvement of health and hygiene but also adding value to the lives of the vulnerable children, mothers and the general public in Hakha-Chin State, motivated the hospital personnel ; opened the hospitals to support from participating partners; promoted pursuance of the right to health and above all promoted the spirit of volunteerism and solidarity among people of all walks of life.
The IVD event coordinated by the UNDP Hakha team was very inspiring, mobilizing and seeing over 60 volunteers from various Agencies who were encouraged to volunteer for peace and human development. By the close of the day, all hospital corridors, floors, windows, toilets among others had been thoroughly cleaned by the vigilant volunteer team. The team demonstrated a commendable spirit of volunteerism. The UNDP Area Office Coordinator Daw Nau Htoo also ensured the children’s ward was well provided with Baloons and sweets to ensure children and their mothers enjoyed the day too.
In our interactions, the Medical laboratory technician Daw Cing Lam Niang expressed gratitude for the kind support and spirit of love expressed by the volunteers. The same voice was echoed by the senior Surgeon Dr. Maing Maung as well as Dr. Thang Hnin Lian in charge of Education. They all expressed gratitude and added that “This is the first time we have witnessed such a great number of volunteers with a committed spirit”
Led by Thawng Cung Nung from Cunghu from blood donor organization in Hakha, IUNV Moses toured around and checked on the blood bank room. U Thawng Cung noted that they have over 1000 volunteers who are registered to donate blood and are always called upon to donate in case of emergencies. He added that “most patients come from very remote areas and lack support. Hence, volunteers do a lot to save life”. He also notes that the blood bank is not effective due to limited electricity supply and there is still need for blood refrigerator which cost over 1200 dollars. The only refrigerator at presented was donated by his organization with funds collected from good spirited Chin people who live abroad. He added that he has been donating blood for over 20 years and has been supporting Hakha Hospital for 09 (nine) years. He calls upon all people to emulate such a spirit of volunteerism for the betterment of humanity saying that; “Everybody can do this volunteer work”
The UNDP Hakha Team contributed resources; procured required tools of work as well as donated financial resources amounting to 158,700Ks which will be used in purchasing 02 beds to th Laboratory for blood donation purposes. The total IVD funds collected amounted to 265,000Ks. 215,000Ks was contributed by UNDP Hakha team and 50,000Ks came from WFP.
A forest of thanks to the IVD participating organizations who worked tirelessly notably; UNDP Hakha Team and WFP, Medical staff at Hakha Hospital, CSO members and individuals who dedicated their invaluable time, financial resources and energies for the success of IVD 2013 well as the International Day of Human Rights .