LINC Myanmar 
Linking Infrastructure and Communities toward Waste Disposal in Myanmar

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As many people may be unaware of the hazards associated with the current waste disposal methods as well as alternatives to them, an explicit explanation of the facts was hoped to motivate change in people’s practices.


The situation was presented in the contexts of:


a. health: diseases from stagnant water and toxins

b. environment: pollution of water, air, and land

c. finances: money can be made by recycling


Targeted groups for the campaign were:

1. students

2. health centers

3. town


Students

Students are the next generation of the town, and have more resources than past generations, such as increased communication opportunities and a network of online knowledge; they are the best bet to change the (their) future.


Presentations were given in 2 boarding schools, 1 tutoring session, and 3 English classes, all mainly of high school and post-high school students (high school had recently finished session).


Games were played in most classes, including a game to guess materials in the classroom as well as a recycling infrastructure role-play, in which students were split into groups and mimicked the path recyclables took from consumers/households to collectors to recycling shops to factories; students quite enjoyed this recycling game. The two major problems, river dumping and trash burning, as well as two potential solutions, recycling and reusing (plastic bags), comprised the lessons.

Our typical lesson plan

One of our community partners, teacher Saya Min, makes learning the concepts fun through interactive and humorous teaching

Students at the first boarding school we taught

Students pretend to sell recyclables to each other as part of the recycling shop game

 

Students at the second boarding school we taught.  Both schools consist of mostly Palaung students from the nearby villages

 

Health Centers

As unsafe waste disposal is a sanitary and health problem, a good vector to spread awareness of this issue and prompt a change of habits is the health sector.  5 clinics around town, including 2 renowned clinics, 4 pharmacies, and a nearby hospital were given flyers to put up for visitors to take. All expressed their gratitude of the efforts to raise awareness of this situation, as they believe it to be a major problem, also for health.

Our flyer:

On the back was a translation to Burmese provided by an expert English teacher in the town, Mr. Aung Gyi.

 

Town Dispersal

Various friends and local partners were given flyers to further distribute. More than 150 flyers have been distributed to teachers, clinics, students, pharmacies, and townsfolk. A presentation at a factory producing a well-known herbal medicine brand, Five Tigers, was also given, with a distribution of 50 flyers to the workers in this one sitting. It is hoped that people will continue to spread the flyers and the awareness of this issue even further, and be motivated to act upon it.

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