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Salvation Army Relief Efforts Ongoing Locally In Myanmar

Submitted by: The Salvation Army

Categories: Health & Wellness, Human Rights

Posted: May 09, 2008 – 07:51 PM EST


Donations Accepted Online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or 1-800-SAL-ARMY

May 09 /CSRwire/ - ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 10, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Salvation Army in the United States this week launched an appeal to raise money for the long-term response to the disaster in Myanmar caused by tropical cyclone Nargis. Currently, the organization has personnel serving in the country, as it has since 1915, and is responding to immediate needs with food and clean water distribution, among other services. The long-term effort is expected to be a multi-year recovery that will require extensive external aid to help those in need. Donors can support the appeal via the Internet, on the phone or via direct mail.

"We are one of the few agencies that are able to serve people in need almost immediately because we have operations on the ground in the country serving people everyday," said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the United States. "We are working to provide additional support from the U.S. and the international community to aid this local effort over the long term because it will be an extraordinarily daunting task. We are praying for all those suffering through this disaster, and we are always grateful for the thousands of donors who open their hearts at times like these."

Despite being subject to the effects of the storm, members of The Salvation Army in Yangon, Myanmar, have been providing cooked meals and clean water for those who are desperately in need. Its Regional Headquarters building was almost totally destroyed and may need to be rebuilt. The roof was torn off the building causing extensive damage to furnishings, computers and other equipment. The Headquarters operation was forced to relocate to a second recently-built Salvation Army Boy's Home. In turn, the boys have squeezed into a reduced accommodation space.

The Boy's Home also lost part of its roof and much of its store of rice became water- logged. The Army immediately cooked and distributed this food to the community before it was lost entirely. The Army was also able to run its generators to pump clean water almost non-stop in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

Reports from in the country on Thursday evening indicate that electricity had not yet been restored in the city. But, that is not unusual as, even before the storm, Yangon did not typically have 24-hour power service. Also according to reports, foreign aid is trickling in, but much of it is still being held in neighboring countries awaiting the government's approval.

The Salvation Army has had a presence in Myanmar since 1915 and has a total of 45 evangelical worship centers spread between the capital city of Yangon, Central and Upper Myanmar. Real growth is evident in this region as a number of new Salvation Army centers of operation have been started in recent years. In addition, the Myanmar Region runs a total of three children homes. Two are in Yangon -- a home for 50 boys and another home for 50 girls. Both homes are situated in the Tarmway area. Further north, in Pyu, the Army has a home for 50 children. A wide-ranging community based HIV-AIDS program is operating in Upper Myanmar. Community education and support for families affected is proving very helpful.

The Salvation Army also operates a primary school at Tamar district in Upper Myanmar, which educates many children who do not have an opportunity to go to school during the rainy season due to the over-flooding of the rivers. Conditions are primitive and many supplies are non-existent. To finance this school, families donate 10 bags of rice from the harvest, which are sold to fund the school's annual operating budget of approximately $700.

The Salvation Army in the United States has dedicated a portion of its national Web site to this recovery effort at: www.salvationarmyusa.org. Donors may also call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or mail donations to:

The Salvation Army International Disaster Relief Fund
PO Box 630728
Baltimore, MD 21263-0728

Donors should specify their contribution is for the "Myanmar Cyclone." Proceeds will go to support direct service to those in need.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to http://www.salvationarmyusa.org.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hazlin The Salvation Army
Phone: 202-777-2041

For more from this organization:

The Salvation Army


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