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The seeds of survival

June 16, 2009

By pwrdf

Voices of Hope Bulletin Stories
Myanmar (Burma)

“The wind increased all through the night, and then when the sun began to rise, the water suddenly came higher…. just after we left the house, the wind tore it apart.” Ma Yi — Nargis survivor
Ma Yi counts herself as one of the fortunate ones — all that she lost was her house and everything in it– when a massive cyclone hit Myanmar (Burma) in May 2008. Many other survivors of Cyclone Nargis suffered losses that can never be replaced — brothers and sisters, parents and children.
Not a single farmers hut was left standing after the storm. Their paddies, too, were inundated, and swamped with trees.  As the village teacher, Ma Yi is concerned for the children who are still frightened whenever it rains.  But their parents have a different set of worries now: how to put food on the table.
To plant the next crucial rice crop Ma Yi’s husband used the tiller and the seed provided by the local ACT partner.  The tiller, shared by all farmers with five acres or less, is one of 274 tillers distributed in the relief effort.  With the rapid and effective ACT paddy seed distribution program —nearly 4,000 tons in total- all the farmers in the village were able to plant on time.
Ma Yi says. “We are grateful for the help… Without them I don’t know how we would have survived.”  PWRDF is a member of Action by Churches Together International (ACT), a global faith-based alliance responding to emergencies.  Through PWRDF, Anglicans in Canada contributed more than $250,000 to the Nargis appeal.

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