Friday, October 26, 2007

Help Keep 5 Alive


Please consider donating to Partners Relief and Development's 5 Alive Program.
$50 will help keep a family of five internally displaced persons alive for one month.
Donate HERE. You can download Partners' 5 Alive Brochure HERE.
You have ended up on a desolate island with only 5 belongings. You found them in the waterproof backpack that somehow made it to the sandy shore. What do you hope you find inside the pack? A journal? A pen? Mirror? Bug repellant? The truth is that you will not survive long in the elements on an unknown island. Unless of course you happen upon a shopping centre.

The ethnic minorities of Burma are going through a similar exercise... except for them it's not a game.
One of the Burma Army's strategies is to crush all resistance from the ethnic groups by destroying their villages, their homes and their livelihood. They go from village to village, systematically destroying everything. If people are found in their way, they will be destroyed as well.

When people are hiding from their own government and are unwilling or unable to leave their country, they are classified as Internally Displaced Persons. Innnocent people have to run for their lives. Mothers, fathers, grandparents and children all have to leave their homes with only the few belongings they can carry. The belongings they bring have to be able to sustain them for the next few months.

We have asked what the 5 most important items are. The list is simple. This is what a family of 5 needs to survive for a month:

1. 75 kilograms of rice; 5 kilograms of salt
2. 1 cooking pot
3. 1 lighter
4. 1 machete
5. 1 large plastic sheet for making a roof in the jungle

The items on the list above can help save a family of 5. It costs $50 to do so. Partners wants to keep as many groups of 5 Alive as possible. You can donate $50 now to keep 5 Alive.

The life or death difference you can make

The generous support of our 5 Alive campaign has made the difference between life or death for literally thousands of people. Partners currently support 20 teams who bravely enter combat areas to demonstrate God's love among people whose lives have been brutalized by Burma's terrible war. Please keep praying, keep supporting our 5 Alive program, and keep speaking on behalf of those victims of war who have no voice.

This child and her community were helped by relief teams in April 27, 2006. Partners was able to send in medicine, shelter materials, and clothes for thousands of people who were chased from their homes and communities by Burma Army troops.

The current situation

There are currently more than 25,000 people displaced in North Eastern Burma alone, we have confirmed the deaths of 76 innocent people, and there are 33 new camp-hide sites now established to care for those who can't carry on alone.

This year, the Burma Army has stepped up its attacks against the ethnic minorities, bringing their usual dishonour and destruction with them. The situation inside of Burma is worse now that it has been in ten years, yet the world remains quiet, mostly blind to the atrocities and oppression against a gentle and peace-loving people. They shoot without remorse, rape without regret, enslave without apology. Everyday, more hearts are damaged, more innocence is stolen, and more hope is shattered. Yet still, in the midst of hardship and trial, these amazing people continue to love and grow, pray and hope, laugh and live. Their capacity for love is astounding, and they mostly refuse to be bitter.

Just Ask yourself this question: "What if it were my family?"

Naw Paw Htoo, aged 60, comes from Tongoo District in North Eastern Burma. When I interviewed her last week in Ei Tu Hta Camp, she was composed and friendly. Nine months ago the Burma Army attacked and occupied her village, and looted property. They burned down the houses, shot 7 of her neighbors, and forced the others in her community to hide in the jungle. Naw Paw Htoo fled with two of her five children, the other three are still inside Burma. She and her children walked over a month to reach the border, finally ending up in Ei Tu Hta camp where she is today.

Three years ago, Naw Paw Htoo's husband was killed when he went to the nearby town to buy food. The Burma Army tied his hands behind his back, dragged him through the jungle, hung him in a tree upside down, gouged out his eyes and then drowned him. Naw Paw Htoo helped with the burial and funeral.

Because of generous donations from people like you, Partners helped establish this temporary camp where Naw Paw Htoo now lives. Patners organizes school for the children, and helps arrange for medical facilities and care. Thank you for caring so much that you give towards these crucial needs. If you would like materials to help inform your friends and community about what is going on in Burma please contact us.

Donate HERE.