Refugee Doctor ‘Making a Difference’ for Thousands in Burma

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThousands of people flee Burma each year, escaping poverty, oppression, and civil war.The nearest escape for most is Thailand, where they experience both despair and hope. Burmese refugee, Dr. Cynthia Maung, runs a small, modest public health clinic near the border in Thailand, and is making a difference in her community by providing essential services not available to most residents of the poor region.Mothers line up with children, waiting for immunizations. In another line, couples with newborns wait for documents certifying their children were born in Thailand. The documents take the place of birth certificates Thailand refuses to issue.These people are refugees, and in the eyes of Thailand’s authorities, they do not exist.But to Dr. Cynthia Maung, they do matter. Dr. Cynthia is a Burmese physician and a refugee herself. She makes a difference for thousands of her fellow refugees in Thailand and for many more inside Burma. For example, the Burmese physician founded the Mae Tao Clinic, a safe haven where miracles happen every day.Dr. Cynthia fled Burma in 1988 following an army crackdown on those who demonstrated for democracy and justice.“I joined with the demonstration group and then when the military seized power, people started disappearing, or missing, or fled to the border. I myself also decided to come to the border to continue struggling or working for political change,” she says.In a two-room shack, she started doing amputations and delivering babies using instruments sterilized in a rice cooker. Young volunteer medics trained by Dr. Cynthia treat everything from landmine injuries to gastroenteritis.With donations from NGO’s and foreign governments, including the United States, Dr. Cynthia’s work has a reputation for a making a little money go a long way.One hundred 50 thousand people come here for treatment each year. Those who can, pay under a dollar.Dr. Cynthia lives in modest quarters next to the clinic. She could have immigrated to the West and be making a huge salary. But for Dr. Cynthia, this is a greater calling.“When we live here, we are not only treating illnesses, we can also educate young people who can go back and work in their community and who are very willing to promote the health activities in their village. So it is a very good opportunity for young people to give education and to give more hope,” she says.The clinic trains volunteer medics who fan out into the ethnic Karen and other isolated areas of Burma. Some of the volunteers are former patients who, once desperate for help, are now the ones helping. It is they who embody Dr. Cynthia’s vision.The Burmese physician says young people should be taught “not to feel as victims.” Instead, she says, they should see themselves as “people who can change or improve the situation.”Dr. Cynthia is reviled by Burma’s military government. To the generals, she is a terrorist and an insurgent. To the thousands she treats and trains, she is a saint.Part of VOA’s new Making a Difference series. Each week, VOA introduces a different individual – famous or lesser-known – working to help others. See the video to this story on VOA’s website. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Fund will make it possible to protect productive farmland

first_imgThe 48-acre Bragg Farm in Fayston, Vermont, known for its iconic barn, open hay meadows and outstanding scenic views of the Green Mountains, has been farmed continuously for more than 200 years.’  Much further south,’ the Bunker Farm’an agricultural and scenic treasure in Dummerston’has been a’ fixture in town for over 160 years. When these two farms went on the market, they were at risk of being sold to someone who was not interested in farming. These communities risked losing these productive farms.’ In both instances, the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) acted quickly and placed offers on the properties using a revolving fund to buy time to find farmers, put the conservation deals together, and permanently protect the land for the next generation of farmers.’ A new partnership between VLT, the’ Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) and the High Meadows Fund (HMF) will create more opportunities for VLT to provide’ farmers with access to affordable farms for commercial operations.’  VCF and HMF will loan VLT a combined $850,000 for their Farmland Access Program. This loan will allow VLT to take high-demand farmland off the market while finding farmers who are the best match for the land and infrastructure. It will also allow VLT the time to raise thefunds to purchase conservation easements on land’an important step to ensuring future affordability.’ ‘ ‘The Foundation has $7 million to deploy in Vermont, and we’re always looking for new ways to improve the state,’ said Debbie Rooney, VP for Finance at VCF. ‘When the Vermont Land Trust came to us, we saw an exciting opportunity to invest in a great organization and in a project that dovetails with our Food and Farm Initiative by supporting local farms and local food. It makes a lot of sense. Yes, VLT could have gotten some commercial dollars to do this, but it would have been a much higher rate, and they wouldn’t have been able to do some of the other work they do. We see this as a resource for VLT to be able to readily maintain working farms in Vermont.’’ The Farmland Access Program and this loan fund will prevent the sale of the farms that are often at the highest risk of development or an estate purchase, circumstances that lead to a major loss to communities that value their farms and local food.’ ‘The Farmland Access Program has helped more than 30 farmers in Vermont buy their first farm, or to expand their operation,’ said Jon Ramsay, the director of VLT’s Farmland Access Program. ‘When we see an opportunity, we buy a farm with bridge financing. Now we can use lower-cost capital to purchase, conserve, and sell the farm at an affordable price to a farmer who can create a viable business.’’ ‘We’ve seen that putting land conservation deals together takes longer than it used to,’ said Gaye Symington, Executive Director of the High Meadows Fund. ‘There are a lot of complex questions to resolve with conservation deals and this takes time. Questions about the ecological values on the farm, the proximity to river systems, and farm-labor housing are a few examples. We see this loan as important because it offers VLT longer-term dollars. Becoming investors in this loan fund is a demonstration of HMF’s confidence in VLT.’’ In the case of Bragg Farm, more than 225 people in the Mad River Valley community contributed $500,000. With backing from the Town of Fayston, and a grant of $320,000 from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the funding has been raised to permanently protect the Bragg Farm. The project was officially completed last week, when VLT sold the conserved farm to Marisa Mauro of Ploughgate Creamery for $175,000 (the appraised agricultural value of the land, barn and residence). In Dummerston,’ four farmers, working as partners, were selected as the new owners of the farm. The farmers are leasing the farm now and will buy it subject to a conservation easement once VLT raises $110,000, along with other grant funding, to pay back the loan and cover the costs of conserving this land.’ ‘The related investments by the Vermont Community Foundation and the High Meadows Fund have helped the Vermont Land Trust take Farmland Access to the next level,’ said Nick Richardson, Vice President for Finance and Enterprise at the Vermont Land Trust.’  ‘There are many highly qualified and passionate farmers looking to access land to start or build their enterprises on good farmland, and communities that are waiting to welcome them.’  The partnership allows us to leverage our own capital and help make the match, and we’ve been able to put it to work right away on projects all across the state.’last_img read more

Manchester United official sent transfer window-shopping ahead of future market

first_imgBarely a week goes by in Portugal without Premier League scouts being in attendance at a game and this week was no different. A Bola reports that Friday nights game between Boavista and Benfica, which the latter won 4-1 to go clear at the top of Liga Nos, had the usual crowd of scouts in attendance.There were several Premier League representatives among them, and Manchester United were one of the teams to send people to watch the game.The newspaper doesn’t mention who they may have been there to scout, but it’s easy to assume it was someone from Benfica.Embed from Getty ImagesIn that case, one player stands out; Rúben Dias.Dias has regularly been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past and could be a long-term improvement for them at centre back.He’s recently renewed his contract, and the increased release clause stands at €100m.There is also goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos, who was linked earlier this year, although David de Gea signing a new deal has presumably ended that interest.Nonetheless, Manchester United are keeping an eye on someone at Benfica, and this latest trip is further proof of that.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksTrending TodayForge of Empires – Free Online GameIf You Like to Play, this City-Building Game is a Must-Have. No Install.Forge of Empires – Free Online GameUndo聽多多 Hearmore.asia1969年前出生的香港居民現可免費試戴頂尖的歐洲助聽器聽多多 Hearmore.asiaUndoRaid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadEven Non-Gamers Are Obsessed With This RPG Game (It’s Worth Installing!)Raid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadUndoDating.comWhere do attractive singles find each other in Tung Chung?Dating.comUndoSmart Tech TrendOver 50? You Need Those Adjustable Focus Reading Glasses!Smart Tech TrendUndoCNN with DBS BankThe New Role Banks Are PlayingCNN with DBS BankUndoHero WarsGetting this Treasure is impossible! Prove us wrong!Hero WarsUndoInstant Voice Translator43 Languages Instant Voice Translator Flying Off Shelves in Hong KongInstant Voice TranslatorUndoGrepolis – Online Free GameGamers Around the World Have Been Waiting for this Game! Already 35 Million PlayersGrepolis – Online Free GameUndolast_img read more