A chance to help those most in need
Helping The Burmese Delta (HTBD) is a great charity and one we have chosen to support for a number of years. HTBD makes a huge difference to those most in need, and collaborating with them has had an impact on us at Incite.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with them and to visit the delta region in Myanmar that they support. It’s been an enlightening and inspirational journey.
At the mercy of the elements
Like the land they inhabit, the people of the Burmese Delta are beautiful, warm, and rich in what they have to give. Unfortunately, they are also desperately poor in opportunity, and trapped in an unforgiving geography and harsh political environment.
The seasonal flooding, so extreme you can measure the depth with trees, is an annual reality that not only transforms the landscape, but also has a devastating impact on daily life: transport, education, healthcare and simple survival.
Making a real difference
HTBD was set up in 2008 in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, which brought colossal damage and 140,000 deaths to the region. The charity’s initial mission to help rebuild delta communities in the immediate aftermath is now to “provide support to help build capacity, improve lives and reduce poverty” in the region. Their focus is on the three areas where the communities have greatest need: education, health, and supporting livelihoods.
The charity consists of a team of talented, dedicated, knowledgeable and skilful individuals. 100% of funds they receive goes directly to helping those in need, and they make their resources work very hard. What they have achieved in under 10 years is staggering.
On my visit to the delta, I saw first-hand the results of their work. In terms of practical infrastructure, HTBD have built over 30 primary schools and a secondary school. The buildings, built on stilts to survive the annual floods, deliver more than just education to the local people. They act as a community-wide refuge from the water that surrounds them and are a visible symbol of the increasing ability to win the annual battle with their hostile environment: Real evidence that the next generation will suffer less than their parents.
To complement the schools, HTBD build toilets, more solid roads, and other important infrastructure; as well as providing healthcare training and midwifery support.
How Incite supports HTBD
Over the last few years we at Incite have pursued a number of initiatives to raise money to fund a new primary school, and its associated supporting facilities. The school opened in November 2015, and I was given the opportunity to be at its inauguration. It was an extraordinary event to witness, and the joy and enthusiasm the children showed was as infectious as it is abundant.
Everyone at Incite can take part in supporting the charity however they wish. Donations and raising funds are only part of the equation. Donating time, ideas, skills and effort also makes a huge impact, and is challenging and enriching to get involved with.
In the past 12 months, colleagues and friends have donated time and skills to support HTBD’s marketing efforts and fundraising events, provided help on the ground in Burma, and developed their own initiatives to raise funds. These initiatives have ranged from hosting a quiz, to organising bake sales, to completing the Three Peaks Challenge.
The impact on Incite
Working with HTBD has impacted Incite in many ways. Seeing the school completed, and the other incredible work the charity has done, is deeply gratifying. But just getting involved has also proved challenging and fun: Doing so has brought people together and created great memories. Seeing the impact that time and effort – not just money – can deliver has been a source of learning and inspiration.
We are honoured to support Helping The Burmese Delta, and look forward to continue supporting the charity, and the people of Myanmar.
If you would like to learn more about the charity, please visit their website:
(All photos taken by myself and colleagues)