Daniel Thang (Salai Vai) is met zijn vrouw Mawfam in 2009 naar Nederland gekomen. In Myanmar werkt hij voor een lokale NGO en was hij de leider van een Christelijke minderheid. Daniël helpt de dorpen in Chin State in de ontwikkeling van voedselvoorziening, cultuur en de kwaliteit van leven. Om dit te realiseren is de Stichting voor de Ontwikkeling van Birmese Minderheden gesticht in Juni 2015. Hij wordt hierin bijgestaan door lokale vrijwillgers die het bestuur vormen. Samen is ons doel Chin State bij te staan door middel van een bottom-up visie en het luisteren naar de daadwerkelijke lokale behoeftes.
Lees hieronder het verhaal van Daniel door hem zelf verteld.
My name is Daniel Thang; I am from Myanmar and now already since five years I live in the Netherlands with my wife and sons. In Myanmar I have experience with leading the local Christian community and working for NGOs to help people in their development. When I was in Chin State, Myanmar, I did my best to help people. When I came to the Netherlands, I still experienced a motivation to help people in whatever way I can. My goal is to protest and to support the development of Chin people in the future. As a result, we have started the Foundation for the Development of Burma Minorities.
Our foundation offers a very good chance for potential donors. I know local contexts and needs; I know the local culture, the policies, the people and the challenges for rural communities. I can implement projects for local prices. An example of a situation where we make a difference concerns a project including new water pipeline to supply for drinking water. In 2008 this project was estimated to cost around $ 25.000 and, as a result of prices increases, these estimated cost comprise $ 30.000 in 2015. Our foundation is able to implement the same project for around € 8.500. The difference is the result from realizing local prices and a good adaption to the local context.
As I and many other Chin people belong to a Christian minority, the government support we received so far was very limited. Therefore, people are suffering, especially in the rural areas. Furthermore, NGOs and government officers do not reach the distant villages, as a good road is absent. Our local partners are able to reach such areas and see the needs of those rural people.
I want to help my people, because they receive too little support from the government. In some villages, assistance from the government apart from school buildings is fully absent. I know that there are a lot of things needed for the rural population in Chin State. They need to mature in their development, building their own lives. Therefore, I want to help them.
In Chin State, there is a great need for reconciliation in development, specifically in the rural areas. Reconciliation is needed in social movement, transparency, empowering, sustainability and so on! These thing could be reconstituted by providing support for development. As I know the local context and needs our foundation can do a lot to facilitate such reconciliation in Chin State.
Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Michiel Nijsen (Project team), as he is initiating a lot for our foundation. Marinus de Jong (Chairman), Marjet Visscher (Secretary), Jeroen Nijsen (Member of the board) and Jeffrey Brand (Member of the board). All of them try their best for our foundation and help me a lot. I believe God is directing them to support development in Chin State. I am happy to work together.