The CTF in Thailand is preparing to respond to the terrible flooding in that country. CTF Thailand has plenty of experience in responding to disasters after helping in the wake of the 2004 Asian Tsunami and the 2008 Cyclone that ravaged Myanmar.
According to the Thai Vice-Provincial, Fr. Paul Cherdchai, the CTF under the leadership of Fr. Pairat and composed of Camillian religious together with hospital staff of the two Camillian Hospitals in Bangkok and Ban Pong will provide medical support in a mission planned for Nov. 24-26. Here is the announcement in Italian:
“Il P. Cherdchai Lertjitlekha avvisa che il nostro Ordine di Camilliani in Thailandia ha ricevuto una richiesta di aiuto da parte della Diochesi di Surathani e si andra’ ad offrire il nostro aiuto alle popolazioni colpite dalle innondazioni con un team di medici ed infermieri dal 24-26 Novembre 2010. Questo team sara’ composto da alcuni Religiosi Camilliani, da volontari dall’ospedale Camillian di Bangkok, S. Camillo di Ban Pong e dal personale medico cattolico del quale si sta interessando ed organizzando il P. Pairat Sriprasert.”
It is good to see that CTF Thailand is mobilzing its resources again. CTF-SOS DRS has been praying for the victims of the flood, and now we will be providing concrete help according our mission of providing medical, pastroral and humanitarian aid.
Asia (Yellow Beads)
Intention – That the Lord Jesus through the intercession of Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung, the first Thai priest to be beatified, may come to the aid of those affected by flooding in Thailand. May the Lord help all those affected by man-made and natural disasters in Asia.
Disaster (Flooding-Typhoon Megi)(October, 2010) Map of Thailand Extract from Floods devastate Thailand: 56 dead, 30 affected provinces: “The death toll from two weeks of flooding in Thailand in the aftermath of Typhoon Megi has risen to 56 people. About two million and 800 thousand people have been affected by the disaster considered the worst in decades to hit the nation, losing houses, land or livestock. . . . The waters of swollen rivers are threatening to cause flooding in the coming days also in Bangkok, built two meters above sea level and where much of the national river system converges. . . The floods have caused widespread damage in the north-east, large parts of which are submerged under a meter of water. In the ancient capital of Ayuttahaya, 92 elephants used as a tourist attraction were led to safety on a march to the nearby hills.” See ARTICLES: Thailand’s flood death toll hits 17; Bangkok braces for deluge, Thailand: Flood updates, 28 Oct 2010. VIDEOS: Thai floods affect millions, Death toll at 41 in Thailand flooding. In pictures: Thailand floods.
Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung (the first Thai priest to be beatified) (Memorial: January 12) Extract from Bl. Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung: “While serving as a parish priest, he assisted the religious of the Salesian Order following their arrival in Thailand in 1927, teaching the priests his native tongue and training the seminarians in catechesis. Father Nicholas later labored in northern Thailand and elsewhere in the country to win the conversions of lapsed Catholics. He carried out his ministry under the shadow of an anti-Christian Thai government, which considered Catholics ‘unpatriotic.’ On the morning of January 12, 1941, Father Nicholas rang the church bell to summon parishioners to Sunday Mass. For this simple act he was arrested and sentenced to fifteen years of imprisonment. While in prison, Father Nicholas catechized his fellow prisoners, baptizing 68 of them. Unable to say his breviary, he found his consolation in reciting the rosary.” See PICTURES of Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung. See also: Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung (EN), BEATIFICATIONIS SEU DECLARATIONIS MARTYRII SERVI DEI NICOLAI BUNKERD KITBAMRUNG (EN), Nicolás Bunkerd, Beato (SP), Beato Nicola Bunkerd Kitbamrung (IT), BienheureuxNicolas Bunkerd Kitbamrung (FR).
Please note the results of the CTF-(vice) provinces conference in Thailand[Dec. 2009] and my subsequent meeting in Bangkok with the members of CTF Thailand on January 9, 2010. They are encouraging. Many thanks to our Thai confreres for their efforts and to Marissa for writing the minutes.
MINUTES OF THE INFORMAL MEETING
Camillian Hospital on Saturday, 9th January 2010
Fr. Rocco Pairat Sriprasert, Vice Provincial, Thailand
Fr. Scott F. Binet, Coordinator of CTF Central, Rome
Fr. Dominique Ackrapan Nunthawanich, Director of Camillian Hospital
Ms. Marissa Khomin – Volunteer [CTF Thailand], secretary for meeting .
This informal meeting was held at the Camillian Hospital in order to discuss the issue of setting up the CTF Thailand. Fr. Rocco opened the meeting with a short pray and asked Fr. Scott to give a brief explanation of the vision for CTF Thailand.
Fr. Scott informed the participants of the meeting of the history of the establishment of the CTF Central in Rome. The idea of CTF was launched in 1995, at the Camillian General . The actual operation of the organization began in 2001. With the appointment of a full- time coordinator in 2004, CTF is in full operation in various part of the world. Membership of CTF Central is composed of the Coordinator (Fr. Scott), Head of Mission of Camillian Consulta (Bro. Luca Perletti) and the Head of Ministry of Camillian Consulta (Fr. Paulo). As CTF is not a legal entity, it is an implementing body of the Camillians for activities related to Disasters. However, CTF is working parallel with SOS.DRS. SOS.DRS is an NGO registered in US. The Board of SOS DRS is composed of 3 lay persons and 4 Camillians: (1) Fr. Scott, CTF Coordinator as the President of SOS.DRS, (2) Bro. Luca (Camillian Mission), (3) Fr. Paulo (Camillian Ministry) and (4) Fr. Babychan (Camillian Formation). The Father General and the Consulta of the Camillians will be the voice of final decisions of SOS,DRS.
The work of CTF & SOS.DRS is of an inter-disciplinary form and involves work of different natures. It includes medical care, humanitarian care and pastoral care (both spiritual and psychological). CTF Central will collaborate with other branches of the CTF in their countries in the fields of mission, structure and formation. Fr. Scott told those present at told the meeting that the CTF Indonesia and CTF Kenya have worked together with the local groups/partners in those countries. The CTF Kenya maintains an on-going office at the Pastoral Center in Kenya and collaborates with many volunteers to provide assistance to the slums.
In Philippines, the establishment was the respond to Typhoon Ketsana. CTF Centraland SOS DRS worked with the Camillian office in Manila. They submitted a request for assistance to respond to the Disaster, indicating the strategic plan of how to respond to and monitor the activities, including the details of Bank account through the Camillian Provincial, who is the primary responsible. The office would be established. An operational guideline would be formulated.
Fr. Dominique proposed that the CTF Thailand should be within the authority of the Camillian Vice-Provincial with the support of a Lead Team as policy decision-makers. A CTF Coordinator served as Secretary of this Decision Makers group. He/she should be a full time person to run the whole office. During the Emergency period, there should be immediate coordination at the lead team with other agencies in the fields for external. For internal there should be various responsible persons as head of each departments (i.e. Logistic, Pastoral, Human resources, Finance, Communications, etc. However, it was considered as too details to discuss at this stage, the meeting then focused on the setting up of CTF Thailand.
It was proposed that the composition of the memberships of CTF Thailand would be (1) Vice-Provincial, (2) Representative from Commission for Pastoral, (3) Representative from Commission for Formation, (4) Representative from Commission for Social Works, (5) Representative from Commission for Administration and (6) one Coordinator – full time staff. As to the question of whether or not the experts for particular fields should be part of the CTF memberships or not, it was agreed that any experts could be invited to the CTF meeting as optional and not as part of the permanent basis. It was also mentioned that during the emergency period, the CTF Central and regional collaborators should also be part of the lead team in responding to the disaster. The criteria of the selection of coordinator of the CTF was discussed and it was suggested that that person could be anyone (man/women/religious person or lay people). The first criteria is that he/she should believe and trust in this nature of work, good social manner and be able to deal with different types of personalities at different levels, and also the capability to perform the required functions. He/she should have the skill of motivation. The Vice-Provincial Council would be the selection committee of this coordinator. The CTF and the Coordinator should be able to bring people alive and able to animate function to work together during the disaster as well as normal period. The coordinator should be able to have on-going good relationship with people and access to Provincial level both up and down. The working culture of CTF should be in a systematic approach. The good work of CTF would give good public image for Camillian. The activity of providing medical treatment and services through the mobile clinic could support the vocation and give live to Camillian Province. It was clarified that the work for refugees/migrants(from Myanmar and Laos) at the borders of Thailand would also be part of the disaster activity. It is manmade disaster due to political instability of the ethnic conflict and the respond is on-going expression.
Normally, the manmade disaster is a complex situation and not easy to dissolve. It requires a stable and continuous response. This type of activity could be supported by CTF Central. Fr. Scott also explained that there are various levels of response to disaster, i.e. emergency, post-emergency, rehabilitation and development. He made it clear that CTF would not support the development activity. When it is necessary, the CTF Central will transfer the proposal to other agencies that supports the development project. It was also proposed that the office of CTF Thailand be located at the Pastoral Center. It was agreed in principle that the CTF Thailand should be set up as soon as possible. The details of operation guidelines and procedures should be made by the coordinator as part of the Lead Team in collaboration with the CTF Central. ***************Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
In May 2008 Cyclone Nargis devastated the Union of Myanmar (also known as Burma). It caused the worst natural disaster in the country’s recorded history. At least 146,000 people died and thousands more people went missing. CTF Thailand, SOS DRS, Salute e Sviluppo and the Camillians wanted to help those who were suffering. So after a situational analysis and with outside support, CTF Thailand chose to work in collaboration with a local partner in Myanmar – the Border Area Development Association (see CTF Thailand – Myanmar Mission #1 – Part 1 in our December 8, 2008 e-newsletter).
The CTF Thailand response to Cyclone Nargis was led by Fr. Rocco Sriprasert, the Vice Provincial of the Thai Vice–Province, and Fr. Dominic Akrapan, the Director of Camillian Hospital in Bangkok. It was Fr. Dominic who first led a reconnaissance team into Myanmar in order to do a situation analysis and to find a partner with whom to collaborate. They found the BDA, the Border Area Development Association, an NGO in Myanmar. And then together with Fr. Rocco, on May 28 Fr. Dominic developed a plan and an operating budget that included emergency aid that would provide for the livelihood, temporary shelter, food and support of 3,000 families. Because the Thai medical personnel would not be allowed to go the most affected areas, Fr. Rocco decided to provide support for Myanmar health personal through training doctors and volunteers, and providing medicines. And this effort would be supported by a base of operations in Rangoon, Myanmar – an office with staff including a director, project manager, Thai coordinator, Burmese Coordinator, translators and ancillary personnel. There would be other expenses including transportation and lodging.
Responding to disasters involves gathering many types of resources: human, material and financial – from near and far. I was far away from Myanmar when on May 20 I first started to seriously considered going to Thailand and then Myanmar to help. I was in Rome at the time at the CTF coordinator’s office. I was beginning to believe that I might really be able to get into Myanmar despite the fact that since May 2, when the Cyclone struck, the government had closed the country to foreigners – particularly Americans. Even Myanmar’s neighbors from Thailand were restricted in their movements. Then on May 30 I received a discouraging e–mail from Fr. Rocco that “The Myanmar officers are quite strict with western people but they allow with limit for Thai, Indian and some Asian people. They don’t allow foreigner to enter the Irrawaddy Delta.” That news seriously dashed my hopes for going to Myanmar so I resigned myself to staying in Rome and then returning to the US to do some fundraising to support the relief effort. Given the gravity of the disaster and the ensuing need, that was the least I could do. I would also focus on trying to get Theresia Sinaga, the CTF Indonesian Coordinator, involved in the disaster response in Myanmar. Fr. Rocco welcomed both.
The preparatory work for the disaster response in Thailand and Myanmar continued. In early June Fr. Rocco sent me a list of 37 Burmese physicians (20 women and 17 men) with whom the Camillian Hospital Group Team would collaborate. They were 2 surgeons and 2 nurses from Camillian Hospital in Bangkok. These 4 would train the Burmese physicians and volunteers in the care of infected wounds, trauma and waterborne diseases.
Myanmar is divided into divisions (states) and smaller townships. Townships are composed of villages. It was the southern part of the country that was most affected by Cyclone Nargis. Fr. Rocco and the leaders of the DBA initially decided to serve primarily the people along the seashore southwest of Rangoon in the Irrawaddy Delta. They focused on 3 townships: KAWHMU; KUNGYANGON; DEDAAYE (see Yangon Division Map). In these townships they would focus on 15 villages – targeting a quantity of 3000 families.
July came and with it did a greater commitment on the part of the CTF in the US and Salute e Sviluppo to support the relief effort in Myanmar. In the US, D’Ann Fisher, Vienna Maalouf and I were already fundraising in parishes as part of the mission cooperation plan (MCP). This plan allows missionaries to enter into dioceses to speak and raise money. We went to the Dioceses of Rockford, Salinas, Syracuse, Worcester and Hartford. I even had the chance to speak at St. Ann’s Parish in Manlius , New York where I received my First Communion and was later confirmed. Praise the Lord! And Brother Luca Perletti in Rome, in his capacity as the head of the Secretariat for the Missions, was searching for funding from Caritas Italia. Brother Luca is the person with whom I most collaborate in Rome in my capacity as the CTF international coordinator. The Fr. General and the Consulta requested that the CTF provide significant financial support for the ongoing relief effort in Myanmar. We were happy to do so. We made that affirmative response official at our first SOSDRS board meeting on July 24, 25 in North Carolina. Brother Luca was in attendance along with Michael Firmin (Vice–President); Todd Binet (Treasurer); D’Ann Fisher (Secretary) and Sherman Runions.
Time passed and the Camillians in Thailand were unfortunately hindered in their plans to enter into Myanmar. According to the DBA, there were security concerns and governmental clearance problems. The Camillians did receive offers of significant financial support from Salute e Sviluppo, the CTF and the Saint Camillus Foundation in Thailand. After several months of patient waiting CTF Thailand Myanmar Mission #1 finally started on October 3, 2008. This first foray into Myanmar would last through October 10, a total of 1 week.
The delay in entering into Myanmar had allowed for a growth in the number of people who would compose the Camillian team from 5 to 8. These included:
1. Rev. Fr. Pairat Sripraseret, Vice–Provincial Superior, Camillians in Thailand
2. Rev. Fr. Dominic Ackrapan Nunthawanich, Director, Camillian Hospital, Bangkok
3. Dr. Manas Ratanachokthorani, Medical Doctor, San Camillo Hospital, Bang Pong, Rajburi
4. Mrs. Arpornphet Kongnava, Nurse, San Camillo Hospital, Bang Pong, Rajburi
5. Ms. Chadaporn Khaimarn, Hospital Administrator, San Camillo Hospital, Bang Pong, Rajburi
6. Ms. Supischa Chongpanichkajorn, Volunteer
7. Ms. Marissa Khomin Volunteer
8. Mr. Myo Thein Local Coordinator in Myanmar
The Camillian team arrived via plane in Yangon (Rangoon) on the morning of October 3, 2008. Working with the DBA, they finalized the plan for the next week. The 8–member team of CTF Thailand would be joined by 7 members of the DBA – 4 physicians and 3 other volunteers. Their mission would serve a slightly different area compared to the original plan in May/June. The focus would be on the Yangon Division – the townships of SHWEPYITHAR; HLAINGTHARYA, SOUTH DAGON, KYAUKTAN (see Yangon Division Map ) and the Ayeryawady Division – the townships of MAWKYUN and BOGALE (see Ayeyarwady Division Map )
What follows is the schedule for the mission, the ministry performed in each location and a description of the location itself. The content of this section is derived from my personal communication with Fr. Rocco.
See pictures from this mission:
|Ayeyarwady Division Map||Naga Cave Monastery Photos||Ngwe Taung Yan Village Photos|
|Shwepyithar Township Photos||South Dagon Township Photos||Pyisimaryone Monastery Photos|
|Thonkwa Village Photos||Yangon Division Map|
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Fr. Scott Binet MD, MI
International Coordinator – CTF
ANNEX 1 - SCHEDULE OF THE JOINT MISSION IN MYANMAR
1st – 7th December 2009
Yangon/Border Development Association (BDA) Office, Yangon
a.m. – Arrival in Yangon check-in at Kandawgyi Hotel
1400 – Visit to BDA Office for discussion with Mr. U Than Htay, BDA staff and Coordinator of the Health Training Program
0530 – Departure from Yangon to Mawkyun by Express boat
1230 – Arrival in Mawkyun
1330 – 1730
- Discussion and follow-up with the Abbot of Pyisimaryon regarding all supported activities
- Training Course for Village Health Workers
0800-1200 and 1300-1730
- Training Course for Village Health Workers
- Provided blankets, rice and dried food for orphans
0600 - Departure from Mawkyun to Yangon
Multipurpose Center (Clinic No. 8), Karya
0900-1200 and 1300 – 1300-1600
- Training Course for Village Health Workers
Multipurpose Center (Clinic No. 8), Karya
0900-1200 and 1300-1600
- Training Course for Village Health Workers
0900 – Departure from Yangon to Bangkok
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CTF Thailand just completed its eighth mission into Myanmar in the wake of Cyclone Nargis (5/2008). From December 1-7, 2009 the team focused on the training program that it has developed for village health workers at the eight free clinics supported by St. Camillus Foundation, the juridical entity that CTF Thailand presently utilizes to accomplish its mission.
Here is a brief look at the itinerary for the Dec 1-7 mission into Myanmar.
1st – 7th December 2009
Yangon/BDA’s Office, Yangon [Borderline Area Development Association]
a.m. - Arriving Yangon check in at Kandawgyi Hotel
14h00 - Visit to BDA’s Office for discussion with Mr. U Than Htay, BDA’s staff and the organizer of the Health Training Program
05h30 - Leaving Yangon for Mawkyun by Express boat
– arriving Mawkyun around 12h30
13h30 – 17h30
- Discussion and following up with the Abbot of Pyisimaryon of all supported activities
- Training Course for Village Health Workers
08h00-12h00 and 13h00-17h30
- Training Course for Village Health Workers
- Providing blankets, rice and dried food for orphans
06h00 - Leaving Mawkyun for Yangon
Multipurposes center (clinic No. 8), Karya
09h00-12h00 and 13h00 – 13h00-16h00
- Training Course for Village Health Workers
Multipurposes center (clinic No. 8), Karya
09h00-12h00 and 13h00-16h00
- Training Course for Village Health Workers
09h00 – Leaving Yangon for Bangkok
I am presently in Bangkok, Thailand at the CTF-(vice) Provinces 1 Meeting. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to listen to the Thai representatives of the CTF and Theresia Sinaga from Indonesia as they recount their experiences of the various missions into Myanmar – the joys and the difficulties. I hope to experience some of them in Myanmar myself – maybe in January. Stay tuned for news about that possibility and a more detailed report on this most recent mission of CTF Thailand into Myanmar.
Fr. ScottRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar (Burma) in May 2008. CTF Thailand together with its local partner, the Border Development Association, has been working since the disaster to serve the people affected. Thus far CTF Thailand under the leadership of Rocco Pairat has executed 7 missions into Myanmar. Through their local partners they have also maintained numerous relief works – running medical clinics, the construction of schools and homes, etc. Rocco reports on the 7th mission into Myanmar that took place from November 2-7, 2009. Here is the substance of what he wrote:
The purpose of this mission was to visit all locations that the St. Camillus Foundation in Thailand had supported through the CTF in its the activities in Myanmar. Therefore they had arranged schedule of activities very tight with a very limited period. The program of this mission is shown in Annex 1. The list of those representing Camillians [CTF Thailand] for this joint mission included Pairat Sripraseret [Vice-Provincial Superior, Camillians in Thailand], Ms. Marissa Khomin [Camillian Volunteer], and Mr. Myo Thein [Local Coordinator in Myanmar]. The list of volunteers who joined them for the mission can be seen in Annex 2
Yangon/Multipurpose Center,Karya Village,Yangon
The Camillian team arrived in Yangon in the morning and the activities started in the afternoon. We left the hotel at noon in order to be able to reach the Multipurpose Center at Karya Village by 1300. The village and the surrounding area had many orphaned children and others who were greatly distressed as a result of Cyclone Nargis. Many had come from the affected area to stay with their relatives. The Multipurpose Center at Karya Village started operating in October 2009 to provide free education to children around the village. At the center there are students, street children, and a kindergarten for poor children. There is also a computer training center. The Center was also preparing to set up a free medical clinic to serve all poor people in the area. This place will be a leading light for the future of this poor people by providing an opportunity for them to access free education and health services. St. Camillus Foundation [Thailand] recognized the important social function of the Center for meeting the health and education needs of people. The Camillian team discussed this with the chairman at the Center and the members of the Border Areas Development Association on various joint activities in Myanmar.
In cooperation with the Border Areas Development Association, the St. Camillus Foundation in Thailand supported the rehabilitation of clean drinking water ponds in the Irawaddy Delta region. Eleven ponds located in three different townships (Kawmhu Township, Kunchangone Township and Dedaye Township)
were rehabilitated by October 2009. We engaged the landless poor villagers to participate in this project as labor workers and paid them. This helped them by providing them clean drinking water and through generating income for them. The details of the beneficiaries/numbers of people from this project is reflected below.
Numbers of beneficiaries and locations for clean drinking water ponds project
|Sr.||Township||Name of the Pond||Water Storage (gallons)||Beneficiary|
|5||Pegone (Bago Pond)||175,219||47||370|
|7||Wegyi (Okkan Pond)||707,616||44||152|
|8||Dedaye||Hmabi (South Pond)||651,456||96||166|
|9||Padethargone (Minkan Pond)||2,515,968||86||330|
|10||Thabyugone (Pond No. 3)||312,000||50||220|
|11||Thabyugone (Pond No. 2)||608,400||221||1,099|
Concerning the village’s health clinic project, the St. Camillus Foundation [Thailand] has supported 3 free clinics [Wegyiaungmingalar (Thongwa) - Kunchangone Township (Clinic No. 5)]; Thabyugone, Dedaye township (Clinic No. 6); Hmabi, Dedaye Township (Clinic No. 7), which started operating in August 2009. The last clinic was set up at the Multipurpose Center at Karya Village, Yangon Township. All these village health clinics were located near the St. Camillus Foundation supported Rehabilitation Clean Drinking Water Ponds. Before establishing any free clinic there were many meetings with the village authorities and the village health clinic supervision committee regarding the location and the administration details for the clinic including the doctors, nurses, and village health workers for each place. For each clinic, the availability of the doctors were subject to agreements established with the doctors in question. At the Thabyugone Clinic the doctor will be at the clinic for the weekdays but at the other two clinics the doctor will be there on the weekend.
The St. Camillus Foundation [Thailand] also supported the rebuilding of part of a school that was destroyed by Cyclone Nargis at Zabu Oke Shoun, Nunnery at Kyauktan. It also provided livelihood support for food and kitchen utensils for school children. The President of St. Camillus Foundation, Thailand had agreed to to support the proposal for the Multipurpose Center for Education at Karya Village in Yangon. The major support was focused on educational materials, i.e. computers, tape recorders, electronic organ, swings, see-saw, climbing-sliding, etc. This center started operating on October 1, 2009.
The total number of students at the Center was 55 is broken down as follows: kindergarten (15), first standard (7), second standard (4), third standard (7), fourth standard (8), fifth standard (5), sixth standard (1), seventh standard (6) and eighth standard (2). In addition, there are 17 students in the computer course. There are 17 sessions for each computer course. There are 10 volunteer teachers at the center. There is a plan for arranging short training course for parents and poor villagers around the center on nutrition, hygiene, good sanitation in future.
Yangon/Dedaye Township (Hmabi Free Clinic and Thabyugone Free Clinic)- see map
The Camillian Team left the hotel at 0500 in the morning to take a ferryboat across the river and then a taxi to Dedaye Township. It took us about two hours to reach Dedaye City. From Dedaye City we had to wait for the taxi boat to go to Hmabi Village where the St. Camillus Foundation supported a free clinic for the villagers. Along the way the river was at the low tide and our boat was too big to continue on the shallow river. Mr. Than Tun, chairman of the Hmabi local committee, therefore arranged for the passengers to change to a small boat, and the big boat with the luggage would follow. We went directly to the Hmabi Free Clinic (Clinic No. 7) with the small boat. Upon arrival the medical team started to immediately provide treatment and services to the patients. There are monthly meetings for all the chairmen of the village health committees of each of the clinic supported the Border Areas Development Association at its office in Yangon. They discuss problems faced by the clinics, the replenishment of medicines, etc. About 30 patients received service from the medical team.
We proceeded to Thabyugone Village (Clinic No. 6) by boat after lunch. It took us two hours. Unfortunately, it was low tide and our boat could not go further. All of us had to take motorbikes and the medicine box and luggage to then go with the tractor to Thabyugone Monastery. It took us about 15 – 20 minutes to reach the Monastery. After refreshing ourselves, the team immediately left the monastery by foot for about five minutes to the village’s free health clinic (Thabyugone – Clinic No. 6). There were many patients waiting at the clinic. Mr. Myo Sed Tun is the chairman of the Thabyugone village health committee. The team gave medical treatment and services until dark. The medical treatment ended up being provided under by candle light. About 50 patients received medical services.
Thabyugone /Bogalay Township (Lake Kapar Village & Pyin Po Gyi Village)
The Camillian Team was supposed to leave by small boat at 0515. Unfortunately the weather was very bad with strong winds, and the Abbot of Thabyugone suggested changing to a bigger boat for safety reasons. Finally, we were able to leave at 0730 with a bigger open boat without a cover. The boat had to go through a very narrow canal for about 45 minutes followed by a little wider canal for another 30 minutes before coming out to the river. We reached Dedaye City around 1100. We had to take a taxi from Dedaye City to Bogalay Monastery. Due to time constraints, we went direct to the Bogalay port to take a boat to Lake Kapar Village. We left Bogalay at 1300 and had our lunch in the boat on the way to Lake Kapar.
We reached Lake Kapar Village at 1430. There were 200 households in this village with a population of 793 (348 males and 357 females). The medical team started to provide medical treatment and services. This trip there were two physiotherapists (volunteers), and both of them helped at the clinics to give advice and services to many elderly patients. One volunteer gave counseling to one patient who had just lost her child. Other volunteers went to the classes and taught English to the students. They took charge of 3 different classes. All the students were very happy. By the end of the afternoon around 60 patients had come to get our medical services. The president of St. Camillus Foundation [Thailand] distributed rice to the villagers.
We were not able to visit Pyin Po Gyi Village due to time constraints. We just sent rice to the villagers there as planned. There were 238 households with a population of 803 (Male 428, Female 375). The Abbot of the Bogalay Monastery was in charge of the rice distribution.
Bogalay/Mawkyun Township (Upper Kyane Lada Village (Maha Bodi Clinic) & Kwin Chaung Village)
The group left Bogalay at 0530 to get the taxi boat at 0600 to go to Mawkyun. The group arrived Mawkyun at 0900. We visited the Pyisimaryon Clinic (Clinic No. 3). St. Camillus Foundation [Thailand] distributed rice to villages of Pyisimaryon and provided sport instruments and sports clothing to the orphans and children of Pyisimaryon.
After lunch, the Abbot of Pyisimaryon and the Camillian group left Mawkyun for Upper Kyane Lada Village where the Maha Bodi Clinic (Clinic No. 2) is located. The distance was not so far: only half an hour to reach the clinic. The rice yield is better this year. The second crop will be in December. There were 208 households in this village. There were 69 farmers and the others were daily workers and fishermen. The President of St. Camillus Foundation distributed rice to villagers. Two volunteer doctors took charge of the clinic. There were 122 students in the school. This includes those from the villages nearby. Our volunteers went into their classrooms to teach them English with some simple English songs. Many were made happy for the volunteer English teachers.
From Maha Bodi, the whole group went to Kwin Chaung Village (Clinic No. 4). This village had 500 farmers and 400 daily workers and fishermen for a total of 900 families. There were 131 patients waiting for our medical services. Due to time constraints the two doctors were not able to treat them all. They left the normal cases to the nurses of the clinic.
When we returned to Mawkyun Monastery, we were told that the program had to change because the Abbot was not able to take us to Ngwe Taung Yan due to unavoidable situation. Therefore, we decided to leave Mawkyun early the next morning.
In the evening after dinner, the Abbot of Mawkyun Monastery with his team and President of St. Camillus Foundation, Thailand and his team discussed future activities under the responsibilities of the Abbot. It was agreed that the Abbot would prepare the list of medicines for the 4 clinics supported by St. Camillus Foundation for the period of six months and made an agreement with the pharmacy to store the medicines after their purchase. The Abbot would buy them and prepare contractual services agreements with the health personnel for the 4 clinics for a six-month period. Another item was to buy a simple set of medical equipments from a standard list for all St. Camillus-Foundation-supported free clinics. An advance would be made to Mr. Myo Thein for these procurements. It should be made within one week time.
Mawkyun (Ngwe Taung Yan Village)/Pyisimaryon Clinic (Clinic No. 1)/Yangon
The group had to omit the program at Ngwe Taung Yan Village due to the program change as requested by the Abbot. However, because the rice had already been bought for 128 families at Ngwe Taung Yan Village, the Abbot of Mawkyun agreed to arrange for the distribution.
The group left at 0530 to take the 0600 express boat back to Yangon. We reached the city at 1230. The President of St. Camillus Foundation invited all volunteers for lunch before sending them home. In the evening, the Camillian team met with the BDA team. The chairman of the BDA volunteered to assist the Abbot of Mawkyun to prepare the report by asking the Abbot to send his staff from Mawkyun to go to Yangon. Mr. Myo Thein will coordinate this matter before the departure of the BDA Chairman to Singapore in December.
The Camillian team left Yangon for Bangkok in the morning.
The summary of the activities for this mission is provided in Annex 3.
CTF Thailand has another mission into Myanmar planned for December 1-7. Stay tuned. And pray for them and those that they are serving. The people in Myanmar are still suffering from the effects of Cyclone Nargis.
Fr. Scott Binet
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Fratel Luca Perletti, MI - CTF Central
Sono appena tornato dalla Birmania. I Camilliani non sono presenti in questo paese. Ma il devastante Ciclone Nargis del 2008 ha suscitato un enorme coinvolgimento dei confratelli della Tailandia i quali, attraverso la rete delle loro iniziative nel campo della emergenza, hanno iniziato una presenza discreta e silenziosa, ancorché efficace a favore delle popolazione della Area del Delta, le maggiori vittime del Ciclone.
Nel fare questo, i confratelli si appoggiano all’unica istituzione riconosciuta universalmente nel Paese: i monaci buddisti. Quello che segue è un breve resoconto di una rapida visita al Paese e la testimonianza della ammirazione per il ruolo giocato dai monaci nel processo di compattazione e di ricostruzione del Paese. [box]
La visita a questo Paese – che si estende nella penisola indocinese per tutta la sua lunghezza – è stata preceduta da notizie ed informazioni che mi hanno messo in guardia, suggerendo attenzione e riservatezza degni di una storia di spionaggio.
Il regime dittatoriale in vigore dal 1962, è molto cauto nell’ammettere visitatori stranieri – ai quali diverse zone del Paese sono ancora interdette – e quando lo fa non vuol che essi si immischino in questioni religiose né in opere sociali, figurarsi in faccende politiche: condizione unica per entrare in Birmania è l’espresso desiderio di fare turismo, portando valuta pregiata alle casse statali!
Nonostante simili premesse, l’ambiente birmano si presenta, con mia grande sorpresa, cordiale, amichevole, accogliente: caratteristiche che vanno a braccetto con il caldo benvenuto con cui si è accolti nel nuovo aeroporto di Yangoon.
Del regime non si avverte nemmeno la presenza, se non fosse per i numerosi quartieri militari sparsi attorno alla capitale.
La gente appare serena, disponibile, non aggressiva o pronta ad “assaltare” ogni turista. La meraviglia che suscita la dignità con cui la gente vive questo stato di cose la dice lunga su quanto il regime è riuscito ad entrare nel vissuto e nella pelle della gente, indottrinandola silenziosamente senza dover ricorrere ad una presenza brutale ed aggressiva.
A questo Paese martoriato dall’uomo ed in perenne lotta con la natura – basti pensare che nel periodo dei monsoni in cui non si vede che acqua!- non manca la forza del sorriso, il senso del rispetto e della propria identità, frutto di una spiritualità assunta come regola di vita!
A differenza della Tailandia, infatti, il buddismo in Birmania sembra avere maggiormente e più in profondità segnato l’anima individuale e collettiva, il cui tratto eloquente è la pagoda, tra tutte quella di Shwedagon: uno stupa dorato (monumento buddista) nella cui sommità sono incastonati 5448 diamanti e 2317 tra rubini, zaffiri e topazio. Di quest’anima sono custodi i monaci e le monache congregati in monasteri, veri e propri centri di spiritualità, ma anche di cultura, di aggregazione e di coesione del tessuto sociale e civile, simili come funzione alle abbazie medioevali, attorno alle quali ferveva la vita del villaggio. Laddove regna il vuoto delle istituzioni civili, i monaci rappresentano un vero e proprio punto di riferimento: una risposta ad uno stato oppressivo ed assente, nemico della propria gente.
A loro si deve la messa in atto di opere sociali, soprattutto educative a favore degli orfani, degli interventi di emergenza, dei “comitati cittadini”.
C’è qualcosa di veramente umano- e dunque cristiano- nella vita di questi monasteri i cui monaci si guadagnano il rispetto popolare non solo per la santità della vita personale (come nel buddismo tailandese), ma per il ruolo di guida e di pastori che svolgono.
Particolare interesse i monaci lo rivelano verso la salute popolare, anello di contatto con i Camilliani tailandesi che di questi progetti si sono fatti parzialmente sostenitori.
La collaborazione tra monaci buddisti e Camilliani ha dato vita ad una serie di Health Centre (Centri di Salute) rurali in grado di dare risposte immediate ai bisogni di salute: il sistema sanitario di questo Paese, infatti, è inesistente visto che alla Salute sono stanziati solo il 3% del già magro PIL. I Centri di Salute fungono da prima e immediata risposta alle esigenze di salute della popolazione del Delta, costretta a ore di navigazione prima di raggiungere un – comunque insufficiente – ospedale pubblico.
Nei Centri di Salute, alcune donne del villaggio – istruite nell’arte infermieristica – accolgono i malati e cercano di portare sollievo alle più comuni e semplici malattie, preparando così la strada ai professionisti della salute (infermieri specializzati e medici), che, a cadenza regolare, visitano i vari Centri di Salute. Progetti molto semplici e dai costi contenuti in grado però, di non lasciare inevasa la richiesta di assistenza e di costruire in futuro condizioni di vita migliori.
La sfida è molto grande poiché qui, più che altrove, è evidente il legame tra povertà, malattia e sottosviluppo.
L’aver messo la salute al centro della propria azione “pastorale” non può che ulteriormente rafforzare l’influenza dei monaci buddisti ed offrire una speranza di vita migliore!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
March 8 – March 15, 2009
During the next five days, the participants served seven locations in Bogolay and Mawkyun. Team members provided medical services and distributed supplies to the villagers. The team physicians worked well into the night providing services to patients – prior to thanking the Lord in prayer and falling asleep surrounded by mosquitoes!
In Bogolay, the team provided supplies and services, procured samples of pond water for testing, and visited the four newly-erected dwellings funded through Camillian efforts. In addition, the team utilized their time together with the Abbot to discuss future collaboration focusing on health care and livelihood for the villages, including the erection and support of three additional clinics, as well as future support for these clinics.
In Mawkyun, the team provided supplies and services and assessed the progress of the construction of a new school and medical clinic, as well as the benefits of the hand tractor previously provided to the village by the Camillian team. Fr. Rocco and the Abbots of the villages of Ma Ya Ywar and Thit Phyu Chaung, visited a new Camillian-funded bridge that connected two villages and served the needs of approximately 3000 local residents.
While they were providing for the medical needs of the villagers, the doctors encountered a 5-year-old girl named Ma Mwe Mwe who was born with a cleft palate. Upon discovering that the child was on a waiting list for surgical correction in Yangon, the Camillian team committed to assisting her with funding for the procedure in the amount of $700.
Upon their return to Yangon, the team re-addressed current and future activities, including the rehabilitation of 29 ponds which were flooded with salt water during the Cyclone. While in Yangon, the team enjoyed a celebration commemorating the opening of the Zabu Oke Shoun Nunnery School (formerly referred to as the Zamburatanar Nunnery School), which is partially supported by Camillian efforts.
Susan M Stefanski, Assistant Editor
CTF/SOS DRS Online Newsletter
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8 – 15 marzo 2009
Era necessario fare una verifica dei programmi realizzati dai Camilliani, il cui fine è il sollievo delle sofferenze della popolazione locale e contrastare i danni provocati dal Ciclone Nargis. Per questa ragione CTF Tailandia ed un Camilliano del Vietnam si sono organizzati per visitare la Birmania (Myanmar) ed in particolare le zone colpite dal Ciclone. Oltre al monitoraggio ed alla valutazione dei programmi, si trattava anche di disegnare – assieme al BDA (Borders Areas Development Association, agenzia locale di sviluppo) – una bozza di progetto da sottoporre alla Commissione Europea.
Il team era composto da P. Rocco Pairat Sriprasert MI (Vice Provinciale della Vice Provincia della Tailandia), P. Joseph Chaisak Thaisoonthi MI (Sampran), Fr. Joseph Tran Van Path MI (Vietnam), Marissa Khomin (volontaria) e Myo Thein (coordinatore in Birmania).
Il giorno 8 marzo 2009, il team camilliano si è incontrato a Yangon con U Maung Maung Soe Tint, presidente e fondatore del CSI (Civil Society Initiative), con Daw Moe Moe, manager del Livelihood Project (programma per l’autosufficienza alimentare) e con altri membri dello staff del BDA. Il team ha preso la risoluzione di inoltrare l’intero progetto alla ONG Salute e Sviluppo che – a sua volta – la trasmetterà alla Commissione Europea.
Il lunedì il gruppo si è radunato per discutere la relazione finanziaria, le rate del cambio monetario e pianificare le azioni per il prossimo ano 2009. Inoltre si è cercato di valutare quale fetta della popolazione si trova ora maggiormente in stato di bisogno. Dopo le discussioni, il team si è preparato per dirigersi alla volta di Bogolay. Alle persone già nominate si sono aggiunti: Dr. Wai Lwin, Dr. Way Lynn Aung, Htaik Seng e Zay Yar Min.
Seguendo la solita rotta, il team non ha potuto che costatare un ulteriore peggioramento del fondo stradale rispetto al passato. Trasportati da un taxi in un percorso reso impervio dalle continue buche, il team è stato rallentato anche dai lavori di costruzione di un ponte. Alla fine sono giunti al monastero di Pyisimaryone dove al gruppo si è unito il Capo Spirituale locale, U Cin Tita Likara.
Nei successivi cinque giorni i partecipanti hanno prestato servizio in sette località tra Bogolay e Mawkyun. Hanno prestato servizio sanitario e distribuito generi di prima necessità agli abitanti dei villaggi. I medici hanno offerto assistenza sanitaria fino a notte, finendo poi con una preghiera di ringraziamento e preda del sonno, circondati da zanzare!
A Bogolay sono stati anche raccolti campioni d’acqua per analisi, e si è fatto visita a quattro edifici costruiti dai Camilliani. Si è fatto uso del tempo per discutere con la locale Guida Spirituale di futuri progetti sanitari e di autosufficienza alimentare, incluso la costruzione di altri tre ambulatori e del loro futuro mantenimento.
A Mawkyium si è fatto lo stesso lavoro valutando anche il progresso delle costruzioni della nuova scuola e dell’ambulatorio medico. Si è valutato anche l’impatto del trattore offerto in una visita precedente. P. Rocco e le locali Guide Spirituali hanno visitato un ponte di nuova costruzione, realizzato attraverso le donazioni dei camilliani ed in grado di mettere in comunicazione i circa 3000 abitanti dei villaggi.
Nel corso delle visite mediche, è stata identificata una bimba di 5 anni nata con labbro leporino. Avendo preso visione del fatto che la stessa bimba è in lista d’attesa per l’operazione chirurgica a Yangon, il team camilliano si è impegnato a sostenerla per una cifra pari a 700 US$.
Al ritorno nella capitale, il team ha re-indirizzato il programma delle attività in corso e future, tra cui l’opera di bonifica di 29 bacini d’acqua contaminati dall’acqua salata portata dal Ciclone. In Yangon, il team ha partecipato ad una celebrazione per l’apertura dell’asilo Zabu Oke Shoun, finanziato in parte dai Camilliani.
Traduzione – Fratel Luca Perletti MIRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
We have begun the second phase of our response to the tsunami that affected Thailand. As such we are implementing a long-term project (the emergency needs of the people have been largely met). Our 15-person mobile medical team is still serving the “Morgan” , which we foresee will last until the end of February. A smaller team will then takeover.
As you know we are concentrating in the short and the long term on helping a local, traditional group called the “Morgan”. The Thai Vice-Provincial Council decided that the project would be carried out at the level of the Vice Province, and it assigned Fr. Dominic Arkapan Nunthavanit as the one responsible for the medical team. He will live in the camp with the medical team while Fr. Rocco Pairat Sriparsert and I will organize the medical teams and then stay in the camp for about 5 or 6 days at a time.
In the village of the Morgan there are 178 families (650 people of which 170 are children). We started to collect data systematically from the beginning because all their documents were lost. The disaster killed 64 people, 15 of whom were children; 135 houses were completely destroyed; 43 houses can be repaired; fishing equipment and all the boats were lost.
In the camp someone continues to donate essential things for living (rice, food, and clothing). We have the responsibility of organizing and managing these donations. On the 18th of January the people moved to the temporary houses made by the Thai army where they will wait for more permanent housing. Thus their living conditions are a little bit better: than before when they lived in tents on a hill. Now they are grouped together in a small space in temporary houses next to their original houses, which were completely destroyed because they were on the coast.
To recap our efforts, as members of the Camillian Task Force Bro. Gianni Dalla Rizza, Fr. Sante Tocchetto, Fr. Renato Altrezzi, Bro. Chaisak and I visited the Morgan on January 15th and 16th Our goal was to see how we might help their families concretely, particularly the children, through providing scholarships, fishing equipment, boats etc. Bro. Gianni seems to be very enthusiastic about helping the children: he is already thinking about scholarships for 177 of them over the next 7-10 years. On January 16th Fr. Rocco Pairat, Fr. Giacomo Virot, Fr. John Baptist Ratchanai and I went with another medical team and stayed for one week. Fr. Contarin arrived with his characteristic enthusiasm, and we began to prepare the long-team project that involves houses, boats and fishing equipment.
We are collaborating with the local church and the local governmental authorities. The German-Thai person, Willy, has already promised to help the “Morgan” by building 30 permanent houses, starting with those people who have a house certificate. A German association named Malteser wants to build 20 permanent houses and the French association “Enfant”, in collaboration with the Surat Thani Diocese, promised to give each family 50,000 baht for house building. Missio Austria is interested in collaborating as well. They may contribute 40 or 50 houses.
The permanent house is about 6×8 square meters and is a one-level structure. The cost of the house will be about 130,000-150,000 Thai baht, equivalent to 3,000 euro (1 euro = 51 thai baht).We are also preparing a project to give scholarships to the 177 children in the village. Another project is the purchase of fishing equipment.
Please pray for the victims affected by the tsunami all around Southeast Asia, especially the children.
Dear confreres, as Camillians we are trying our best to help these people because it is our charism to work with the sick and help the poor.
20th January 2005
Fr. Paul Cherdchai Lertjitlekha
Um terrível desastre se abateu sobre o sudeste da Ásia em 26 de dezembro. A Tailândia foi um dos 12 países afetados. Nas seis províncias que compõem o sul da Tailândia, pelo menos 5.291 pessoas morreram das quais muitas eram tailandesas e estrangeiras, entre adultos e crianças. Cerca de 3.716 pessoas ainda estão desaparecidas: acreditamos que seus corpos jazem no fundo do mar. E pelo menos mais 8.457 pessoas estão feridas. Estamos em estado de choque diante desse terrível desastre.
Depois de dois ou três dias procurando informações sobre a tragédia e recebendo pouquíssimo retorno (devido a falta de organização por parte do governo e da Igreja), nós Camilianos decidimos partir para a área do desastre em uma caravana de 7 veículos, com a ajuda tanto do Hospital Camiliano (Camillian Hospital) e do Hospital São Camilo (San Camillo Hospital) de Bancoc. Quarenta e cinco pessoas foram para lá (4 médicos, 1 dentista, 15 enfermeiras, motoristas, grupo de entretenimento, Bro Amicale Rebellato (primeiro voluntário), Fr. Rocco Pairat Sriprasert, Fr. Ackrapan Nanthavanit, Fr. Pongsiri Sangvalpet, 2 Camilianos professos temporários e eu, Fr. Paul Cherdchai. Todos os que foram para o local eram voluntários. Carregamos nossas ambulâncias e vans com medicamentos, equipamentos médicos, água, tendas e alguns outros itens necessários, etc. Decidimos ir para a província de Phangnga, a mais devastada pelas ondas da maré sísmica. Acampamos a nossa equipe móvel em Ban Bang Moung, no distrito de Ta Kao Pa, a mais de 800 quilômetros de Bancoc. Levamos a noite toda (mais ou menos 12 horas dirigindo) para chegar lá apesar das estradas estarem em bom estado. Havia muito tráfego, principalmente de grandes caminhões. Saímos do San Camillo Hospital às 17 horas do dia 4 de janeiro de 2005 e chegamos às 5 da manhã do dia seguinte.
Quando chegamos na prefeitura do distrito de Ta Kao Pa, descansamos um pouco e rumamos para o campo de Bang Moung. Lá, encontramos cerca de 2000 pessoas (500 famílias) abrigadas em tendas. Já haviam recebido muitas doações: alimentos, água, roupas, equipamentos para cozinha,etc. Vimos que suas necessidades de saúde também estavam sendo bem atendidas, de modo que decidimos ir para outro local onde fosse necessário receber assistência. Partimos então para uma área mais rural da vila de Bang Sak onde 300 pessoas haviam sido desalojadas devido ao tsunami. Nesse local começamos a prestar auxílio médico à população, muitas delas crianças e velhos. Armamos nossas tendas junto à população e ali ficamos por 3 dias.
Quase todas as famílias da vila de Bang Sak perderam um ou dois de seus membros durante o desastre. Ouvimos suas histórias de tristeza repetidas vezes, uma família depois da outra. Sentiam-se rejeitados, um povo nativo sem muito nível de educação: fomos os primeiros a chegar lá depois de acontecido o desastre. Os Camilianos forneceram cuidados médicos às crianças e idosos e àqueles muito feridos e hospitalizados. Visitamos também outras pessoas em outros campos para oferecer-lhes apoio psicológico e espiritual. Organizamos jogos para as crianças para aliviar-lhes a tristeza e o sofrimento. Depois que começamos nosso trabalho com a população de Bang Sak, membros da igreja local começaram a chegar e a juntar-se a nós nesse trabalho. Eles não tinham tido condições de organizar sozinhos um grupo de ajuda. Perguntamos a eles sobre que mais assistência eles e as populações dos arredores poderiam estar precisando.
Muitas pessoas ainda estão traumatizadas pelo tsunami, mas neste momento parecem dispor de alimentos, medicamentos, água e roupas em quantidade suficiente. Tem havido muitas doações. As populações precisarão certamente retornar aos seus lares, onde então precisarão de habitações, instrumentos de pesca, barcos, redes, etc. Em outras palavras, elas precisarão reconstruir suas famílias.
Depois de 3 dias com essas populações e fazendo o que nos foi possível, nós, Camilianos concordamos entre nós que se a Conferência de Bispos da Tailândia nos pedisse para cuidarmos desta vila ou de qualquer outra, estaríamos prontos para oferecer nossa colaboração, para vivenciar o carisma Camiliano (a Conferência dos Bispos me chamou para uma reunião em 10 de janeiro). Constatamos que há muitas organizações que vieram para ajudar e devem partir em breve. Nós, Camilianos, agiremos entretanto de maneira diferente, cuidando dessas populações até que suas vidas atinjam um certo nível próximo da normalidade. Pretendemos estabelecer uma clínica móvel com equipamento médico necessário, medicamentos e uma equipe para auxílio psicológico e espiritual. Isto irá ajudá-los até que possam mudar-se para uma habitação temporária que será construída pelo governo.
Essa é a forma como estamos tentando corresponder como Camilianos ao desastre na Tailândia. Agradecemos a todos vocês que nos escreveram demonstrando sua preocupação em meio a esta situação trágica. Por favor, rezem pelas vítimas do desastre no sudeste da Ásia.
Fr. Paul Cherdchai Lertjitlekha
Vice Provincial da Tailândia
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