This is the Sr. Martha HIV/AIDS Care Center in Khaykkhami.
Sr. Martha HIV/AIDS Care Center in Khaykkhami
In 2002, Sr. Martha started to build up the HIV/AIDS Center in Khayakkhami. Initially, it was accommodated in a small wooden house. The first house still exists. Now it is only used for construction workers who work on the grounds occasionally. Khaykkhami is situated 250 km south of Yangon and is relatively small. Many refugees live here under extremely poor conditions. All inhabitants of Khaykkhami know Sr. Martha, who is incredibly active at her age of slightly over 60. Sr. Martha belongs to the Order of St. Joseph. However, she succeeded in being permitted to perform her duties in her self-designed uniform instead of wearing the habit of the Order because she helps everyone regardless of his or her religion.
The Sr. Martha HIV/AIDS Care Center is situated on the outskirts in green surroundings. She bought the land from her small salary and a few donations. The plot is 60 feet wide and 110 feet long (approx. 18 x 33 metres). In the past years, Sr. Martha persistently fought for her children's home. She has been successful: Two stone houses were donated by the German and the Japanese Embassies, as well as five small houses to accommodate the children, helpers, to serve as storerooms for medicines and food, office, doctor's rooms, refectory and homework room for the children. Depending on the needs, there are always changes, adjustments and improvements. And since 2015, a small hospital has been under construction in the vicinity of the care centre with which Sr. Martha is cooperating.
Pictures of the beginnings of Sr. Martha's Care Center are decorating the entrance hall of the main building. They show the first two wooden huts, but also a documentation of the children who were received by Sr. Martha. They were only skin and bones when they arrived, abandoned by their parents and the doctors. A few were too weak to survive, but many of them could be coddled up by her.
A Sister from her Convent and a few women from the village help Sr. Martha with the cooking, cleaning and washing. In addition, there are two young girls who started working as accountants for Sr. Martha after having completed school.
There is one physician in the municipality of Khaykkhami. He received further education for the prevention and treatment of AIDS at the friendly AIDS orphanage Baan Gerda in Thailand, which we have equally been supporting since 2005. Dr. Hla Kyaing (on the photo with his wife and Sr. Martha) examines Sr. Martha's protégés regularly, carries out the blood tests and checks the intake of medication.
At a distance of two kilometres, Sr. Martha could buy another small piece of land where she cultivates fruit and vegetables. This enables her to provide for better food without having to buy it on the market at expensive prices. Meanwhile, the food prices are on the rise also in Myanmar. Rice is subject to high price variations, especially if a large part of the harvest has rotted after a long rainy season followed by severe flooding. However, fruit and vegetables are becoming ever more expensive, too.
With our donations, we help Sr. Martha procure the necessary medication and cloth for the children, buy food rich in vitamins and proteins and/or seed for growing fruit and vegetables in her own garden, thus giving the children a chance to live. Sr. Martha intends to manage that they all have a successful school career and receive vocational training later on. This is a huge task in a country without welfare provision.