Trying to aid tsunami victims in Myanmar
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2005:
TAMPA, Fla.–Florida humane worker Carol Childs may have
been the only outside animal rescuer to reach Myanmar after the
December 26, 2005 tsnami.
Better known to the world as Burma, and still called Burma
by most of the residents, according to Childs, Myanmar has been an
isolationist military dictatorship since 1962. News media are
strictly censored. Few visitors are admitted. The
security-conscious Myanmar regime at first denied having any tsunami
casualties, and refused outside aid, but rumors leaked out of at
least 90 deaths.
Childs, planning an intensive Southeast Asian excursion that
also took in parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, in
late 2004 managed to secure a tourist visa to go to Myanmar. A
veteran of Florida disaster relief efforts, including the aftermath
of Hurricane Andrew and four hurricanes in six weeks during the
summer of 2004, Childs realized that her skills might be needed.
She landed in Thailand on January 11 with suitcases of veterinary
supplies, but was unable to connect by telephone with any of the
Thai animal disaster relief organizations. Not a computer user, she
did not try via the Internet.
Instead, Childs helped the Buddhist monks she found looking
after homeless animals and people, and praying over bodies, in some
of the coastal temple complexes.
After a few days in the Phuket area, Childs crossed into
Myanmar and spent the next 10 days working with monks and others
there. As Buddhism is the only nongovernmental institution tolerated
by the dictatorship, monks do everything done by nonprofit
organizations in other nations, Childs observed, but even the monks
are constantly subject to harassment and repression. She treated as
many dogs as she could for parasites and eye infections, fed them,
and left as much money as she could with an acquaintance who promised
to continue the work.
Childs has headed the Florida Humane Society in Deerfield
Beach since 1993, and also heads one of several organizations
incorporated as the National Humane Society. Hers operates two
mobile sterilization clinics and is currently converting a building
into an adoption boutique.