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Myanmar, Republic of the Union of

Cyclone-affected children heading back to school in Myanmar

© UNICEF Myanmar/2008
Cyclone-affected children find a supportive environment at a child-friendly space in Myanmar.

By Angela Thaung

YANGON, Myanmar, 27 May 2008 – As many cyclone-affected children are preparing to head back to school next week, UNICEF and its partners have been distributing essential school supplies by everything from truck to boat.

The Government of Myanmar aims to reopen schools in some cyclone-affected areas by 2 June. UNICEF has already distributed roofing sheets as well as School-in-a-Box and recreational kits to 23 primary schools in Kawhmu township, Yangon Division.

“I want to go back to school, because I want to be an educated person,” said Kyaw Thu Shein, 12.

Determined to resume classes

Before the cyclone hit, the primary school in Ye Phyu Twin village had three buildings. Now, one building has completely collapsed and the other two have lost their roofs.

The principal of Ye Phyu Twin's school, Than Than Htay, is determined to resume classes. She understands that bringing normalcy back to the lives of the children in her village is very important.

© UNICEF Myanmar/2008
UNICEF-supplied School-in-a-Box kits, recreational kits and roofing sheets arrive in Ye Phyu Twin village, Yangon Division, where two school buildings lost their roofs and one building completely collapsed.

“With the support of UNICEF to repair the school in time for reopening and reducing the cost of schooling for families, I am confident that I can encourage parents to send their children back to school,” said Ms. Htay.

More aid needed

Within the past two weeks, primary schools have received supplies and recreational kits as part of UNICEF’s rapid response to the cyclone. Other supplies such as furniture are still needed, however. Repairing school sanitation facilities is also a priority.

The Parent Teachers Association in Ye Phyu Twin village is not in a position to help the reconstruction of the middle school this year, but the principal there intends to reuse the scrap wood and roofing materials to build a small library. 

However, there is still the fear that not all children will be able to get an education. 

“As most families are in dire hardship, some children will most likely drop out of school in order to help their families,” said Ms. Htay.




28 May 2008:
UNICEF's Sandar Linn reports on the efforts of UNICEF and its partners to create safe spaces for cyclone-affected children in Myanmar.
 VIDEO  high | low

27 May 2008:
UNICEF Regional Director Anupama Rao Singh discusses the challenges facing women and children who are living in temporary camps in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.
 VIDEO  high | low

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