Progress at Home Encourages Burmese Efforts Abroad

Burma is the poorest country in Southeast Asia. Many of its people subsist on $200 a year. That barely covers the cost of living, let alone the cost of dying.

The Burmese community in Woodside, Queens recently hosted a husband and wife who have been helping Burma’s poor give their dead a Buddhist burial since 2001. Two years ago when they first received an award from the Burmese diaspora, the meeting was impossible.

For years, the Burmese diaspora has found ways around the military regime’s firewall, sneaking in money to support Myanmar’s domestic aid workers.

But with democratic reforms under way, the barrier between Burmese abroad and humanitarians at home is coming down.

This is a story about the transnational effort to provide for Burma’s poorest.


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