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Dec 31, 2019

Training the education team

Janette conducting a biology training session
Janette conducting a biology training session

A few weeks ago, Janette, a long-term friend of Health & Hope, travelled from the UK to spend a month with the education team in Lailenpi. Janette is a retired a Head Teacher and has a wealth of teaching experience which she has been using over the last 12 months to support the launch of the Education for All project.   The project is supporting just over 100 students from 30 remote villages who have failed one or more of their grade 10 exams earlier in 2019.

Janette's first visit to Lailenpi took place in January, where she was planning to spend 3 months to support the establishment of the Education for All project. Unfortuantely, due to escalating violence in the region, her trip was cut short.  Janette continued to support the education team remotely over the following months, sending through resources, helping with lesson planning and the assessment of the students. She was then able to return for a month at the end of 2019. 

Alongside running workshops with the staff team on specific subject areas, such as Biology and English, Janette also conducted training sessions in different teaching practices, learning styles and classroom management. She also took some time to interview some of the students to get their feedback from the project so far. 

Feedback from the students on the first 6 months of the project was very positive, with many of them commenting on how they appreciated the classroom environment and that the teachers were patient with them. One student said: "I like the teachers, they are fun but kind. We are not beaten. I have never encountered a school like this!" 

When asked why they decided to take part in the Education for All project one student said their parents were sick and could not support them, so they needed to complete their education in order to work and look after their family. Another student said that if they passed their Class 10 exam they will be able to be a good role model and give hope to others.  For most, the project provides a unique opportunity to learn English and have a second chance at passing their grade 10 exams. 

However, for all the students, the clock is ticking.  The Myanmar government are introducing a new curriculum into grade 9 this year which only gives these students two years to pass their exams.  Forced to take five subjects in English, 80% of students in Chin State failed their exams in 2019, and while there are positive changes ahead in the new syllabus, thousands will be left behind, locked out of an educational system that has failed them. 

We're hoping to make a significant improvement in the pass-rate of students in the Education for All project this year, but we'll need your continued support to invest in the school and help as many students as possible.

We look forward to reporting back to you again in March 2020 when the students will be getting ready to take their Class 10 exams. Thank you for your ongoing help and financial commitment.

Janette and the Education for All team
Janette and the Education for All team
Teachers and students in the new training centre
Teachers and students in the new training centre
Teaching students
Teaching students
Students enjoying lessons at the new school
Students enjoying lessons at the new school
Dec 31, 2019

Volunteer's trip report

Local trainers receiving materials for outreach
Local trainers receiving materials for outreach

At the beginning of November, two volunter midwives made the four-day journey from the UK to Laillenpi in Chin state, Myanmar. This is the 8th visit to the township, where training and practical support has been provided to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and other community healthcare workers with the aim of improving maternal and child health outcomes in the rural communities. 

Since the start of this project over 180 TBAs have been trained.  In 2017 the project was expanded to provide Training of Trainers to local women, who then provide training to TBAs in more remote villages. An additional development of this trip, was the opportunity to provide support to three nurses who have recently graduated through the support of Health & Hope's Freedom to Education Project (FEP) as well as provide training and support to local government midwives. 

Due to ongoing conflict in the region, it wasn't possible for the volunteers to travel to more remote villages as planned. Instead, two days of clinics were arranged in the town, where almost 150 mothers & babies were seen and treated!  Following this, the UK midwives conducted a week-long workshop with 36 TBAs, 5 government midwives and 2 trained nutritionalists, who were keen to receive training so that they can deliver health advice for pregnant women and new mothers. 

As always, it was wonderful to receive feedback from the TBAs who have been able to put the training they've had over the years into practice. One TBA revealed how she had delivered a breeched baby 12 years ago and the baby had died because she did not know what to do. Since coming to the training, she has been able to get over her fears and recently deliver a breech baby successfully. She said:"I knew what to do because of the training I had received, and the mother and baby are well. It was the best day of my life!"

As part of the project, the team distributed birth bags, which contain essential equipment and clean birth kits, as well as training and distribution of basic medicines. The result of this continued work has been a clear improvement in conditions, skills and expertise provided by the TBAs. The assessment at the end of the training week showed that the TBAs have grasped a good understanding in critical practices such as handwashing & hygiene, initial assessment of the mother, manoeuvres of breeched births, and immediate post-natal care of the newborn, including skin-to-skin contact and first breastfeed. As well as these basic concepts, the TBAs also now have a good understanding of how to deal with complications and emergencies in delivery such as  bleeding. 

This visit also created an opportunity for the three graduate nurses to gain further training and experience in maternal and neonatal health. The nurses, who are now part of the Health & Hope Myanmar team in Lailenpi, were translating during the clinics and training sessions, giving them the chance to deepen their knowledge and grow in confidence. As a result, Hope Clinic, based in Lailenpi, and our other health projects, will now benefit from the enhanced skills and experience of these trained staff. 

All of this is thanks to your generosity and continued support. We are so grateful for your partnership and look forward to updating you on the progress of this project again soon. 

Breastfeeding training for Health & Hope nurses
Breastfeeding training for Health & Hope nurses
TBA Training Group Photo
TBA Training Group Photo
Training of local trainers
Training of local trainers
Suturing training
Suturing training
Dec 30, 2019

Graduate nurses from local villages join Health & Hope team!

FEP student nurses graduating
FEP student nurses graduating

It all started seven years ago. A dream to see young women from rural Chin State have the opportunity to train as nurses and then come back to serve their community.  Thanks to the financial commitment of long-term supporters, this dream has become a reality. 

In the summer of 2019, three young women who have been supported by the Freedom to Education project graduated from university after completing their nursing degrees. Their training included:
- a one year internship with Health & Hope
- completing their year 11-12 secondary education in India
- an undergraduate degree in India
- a year internship in hospitals in Yangon

Following their graduation ceremony the nurses received a week's training from our partner Birthlink, took part in supervised outreach work in rural villages and received two months of training in maternal health and emergency neonatal care.

The nurses will now support the delivery of the Maternal and Neonatal programme, in addition to working in Hope Clinic and responding to emergencies through a newly established mobile medical service for remote villages.

Last month, two volunteer midwives travelled from the UK to run training workshops and mother & baby clinics in Lailenpi. The midwives wrote this summary about the nurses in their trip report: 

"One extremely valuable outcome of working with the Nurse Team throughout the week was their own development in midwifery knowledge. By working continuously alongside us in the clinics and during training, their knowledge increased substantially. On several occasions the nurses reported how their knowledge of antenatal, intrapartum and post-natal care had increased by hearing it from us in English, translating it into Mara, facilitating the questions and explanations and practising enthusiastically alongside all the trainees. Confidence and language skills increased and they thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the training.  They became competent in all the skills and fostered a positive, interactive learning environment. They grew in confidence in their organisational and teamworking skills throughout the time. When a problem arose, they were quick to admit it and efficient in finding solutions. They were very committed to the smooth running of the course and worked long hours to achieve this. We felt that positive and lasting relationships were built between us all and that very good teamworking was achieved."

It's wonderful to see the real impact that has resulted from the Freedom to Education project in just a few months after graduation, with the nurses full of hope, passion and knowledge returning home to serve in their communities. 

Your support is not only changing the lives of the individual students, but also having a wider-reaching impact on local communities through providing the skills and expertise needed to reach out and sustain our work amongst the most vulnerable in western Myanmar. 

Internship at a hospital in Yangon
Internship at a hospital in Yangon
Participating in mother & baby clinic
Participating in mother & baby clinic
Receiving neonatal training from UK midwives
Receiving neonatal training from UK midwives
Practical breastfeeding training
Practical breastfeeding training
Care of the newborn training
Care of the newborn training
 
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