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Project information

Rebuilding schools in the Irrawaddy delta

Cyclone Nargis in May 2008 destroyed over 80% of schools in the worst affected areas of the Irrawaddy delta in the south of Burma, and very few have been rebuilt. Having very successfully built eleven schools, with five more in the pipeline, we are seeking funds to extend to further villages.

November 2012 - April 2013

Charity information: Helping The Burmese Delta

Helping The Burmese Delta logo
  • Need


    Education is central to Burmese culture, and the only hope for poor rural children to escape a life of poverty. Cyclone Nargis caused devastating damage to schools in the delta. In the Bogalay district where we operate 84% were destroyed (296 in total). Such a school acts also as a community centre, and as a storm shelter. It is very much the heart of the village. Community schools in smaller villages receive no government funding, and the villagers are too poor to fund construction,


    Our goal is to rebuild a further five schools, each catering for about 70 - 100 children. Each school costs in the region of £4000 - 8000 (depending on size and construction method) at current exchange rates and materials prices. Of the cost approximately 80% is materials and 20% labour.We work with our local partners who oversee all procurement and construction, obtain official permissions, and ensure village co-operation and involvement.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To select villages where the school is inadequate, and where the community is committed to support


    » We will discuss possible candidate villages with the local education head.
    » Agree with them which are the most needy and most committed villages, who are willing to provide labour and land.

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by the wholehearted involvement of the community during and beyond construction

    Aim 2

    To construct the schools by March 2013.


    » Agree budgets and plans for construction and transfer funds
    » Construct the schools during the dry season (November - April)
    » Monitor progress and approve final delivered buildings, attend openings wherever possible

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured by the availability of new schools on time and before the onset of the monsoon in late May.

  • Impact


    We have learned from our previous projects that such rebuilding is not only essential to provide decent places for learning, but it creates a pride in the village and a fresh hope for these battered communities, most of which lost many inhabitants in Cyclone Nargis. We intend to work long term in these very remote areas, almost untouched by other NGOs, to help with medical care and livelihood improvement, but education is a necessary first step.


    There are always risks in working in such remote areas in a very poor country, but our success to date has been built on having totally reliable partners, strict budget control, and choosing carefully which communities to support. Our chief risk is the volatile pricing of construction materials, but there is little we can do here except delay work when prices escalate.


    We report regularly to donors by email and on our website. We are always happy to give more personal reports to major donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £25,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £25,000 Construction Building up to five community schools

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Individual sponsor £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is located in the Bogalay district of the Irrawaddy delta region of Burma. Bogalay town is 8 - 12 hours by boat from Rangoon, and the villages a further 8 - 12 hours from Bogalay. This is a very remote and poor area even by Burmese standards, the villagers are mostly landless and live on less than £1 a day.


    The main beneficiaries are clearly the children and their parents, but the whole village benefits from the availability of clean weatherproof space for community activities and shelter.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    May Tha-Hla, one of the founders, is Burmese - Anglo, born and brought up in Burma, bilingual and bicultural. We have excellent local partners and contacts, so that we can successfully carry out projects in this at times difficult environment. The founders pay all UK expenses, and our Burmese partners are volunteers, so our administrative overhead is one of the lowest possible. Most of all, hardly any other charities are doing this work in Burma.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    May Tha-Hla

    May personally oversees all our projects, visiting the villages, checking the views of the villagers, and liaising with our partners.

    Ko Okkar Aung

    He oversees and manages procurement and construction, and obtains necessary officlai permits

The old school at Nga Phel Chaung village

The old school at Nga Phel Chaung village


..will provide the walls or roofing for a school