Contribution to Assist Disabled People in Thantlang
20 December 2012: Chin communities and churches have come together to put collective efforts in a movement that aims to assist disabled people in Thantlang Township of Chin State.
Contribution has been made from both inside and outside of the country for construction of a new training centre in Thantlang town for the disabled in the Chin township.
Returning from his fundraising trip to Australia, Rev. Dr. Peter Al Ceu expressed thanks to Chin churches and communities for their generous contribution towards supporting the disabled people.
“I was in Australia for two months and managed to meet with members of 16 Chin churches in four states. The purpose was to raise fund to build a training centre for people with disabilities within Thantlang Township,” added Rev. Dr. Peter Al Ceu, Committee member of the Disabled Aids Organization (DAO).
The training centre, upon completion, will provide a range of services, programmes and support that help to equip disabled people with new income-generating life skills.
Earlier this month, DAO held a one-day workshop in Thantlang on disabilities and how to improve their situation with better system and structure in place as it raised awareness about disability issues within the community.
One of the participants told Chinland Guardian: “The event actually opened our eyes to be able to better understand and deal with our brothers and sisters who have disabilities. It is important that people with disabilities are treated equally in our community.”
DAO is said to have just been granted an official registration as a local non-profit charity organization although it was established in Thantlang a few years ago.
“According to our list as of last month, we have about 165 individuals with disabilities registered from within the township. We haven’t been able to get to every village yet,” added Rev. Dr. Peter Al Ceu.
“There are about 20 disabled people in Thantlang town. The Thantlang Baptist Church provides them an office and they work everyday. They share among themselves what they earn from works such as taking photos and printing. They travel to other places and encourage disabled villagers.”
In Kalaymyo of Sagaing region, a Chin community-based organization called Disabled Children Development Program (DDP), formed in 2009, provides services and support to about 200 children with disabilities.
Pastor Sang Uk Cung said in an interview with the Chinland Post that people with disabilities are not included in the member list of a church in some areas, adding: “This clearly shows our lack of understanding about disabilities in our society.”
It is estimated that there are more than one million physically disabled people in Burma, with about 10 per cent of the whole population being affected in one way or the other, according to the Eden Centre for Disabled Children (ECDC).
As of today, Burma has not got an official statistic on the population of people with disabilities in the country.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang