The first thing the villagers noticed on their return was the destruction of houses, roads and other infrastructure.
“We had to go back because there was no way to earn a living in the camp and our livelihood is here. But the roads are badly damaged since they were abandoned for more than three years,” says Oo Aung Thein Kyaw, a village chief of Ywar Haung Taw.
The ICRC team in Mrauk U recently met with communities to identify their most urgent needs.
The damaged roads posed challenges to the daily livelihoods and social activities of the villagers, prompting our support to help repair the roads.
More than 170 people, including people with disabilities, came together to repair the roads from dawn to dusk.
“I don’t notice how much time passes because we are talking and working at the same time,” explains Ma Oo May Thein, a tailor by trade and member of the working group.
Our goal with this effort is to support community livelihoods by providing employment opportunities.
“Even though they have returned home, the impact of COVID-19 and economic hardship have made it difficult for the villagers to regain their livelihoods,” says Pyae Sone Tun, from the ICRC team in Mrauk U. “Once the roads are repaired, it will be easier for them to travel, work and fetch water.
The project is carried out in partnership with the community and the Myanmar Red Cross.
Every day, Myat Hnin Wai, a Red Cross volunteer, visits this village to meet and talk with people – to hear about their challenges and offer help. “People are incredibly motivated and united. Seeing them working together also makes me happy,” says Myat Hnin Wai.
Despite the challenges, the people of this village continue to help each other in every way possible.
“I lost my leg to a landmine, but that doesn’t stop me from working because my friends give me a hand from time to time,” said U Zaw Lwin, a villager participating in the project. .
In Rakhine, as across the country, we are committed to working with all communities, providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by armed conflict. We remain neutral and impartial in all our work.