The Yangon COVID Project (YCP), founded by two ISY students, is a non-profit organization dedicated towards helping the COVID-19 relief effort in Yangon. YCP’s initial goal was to fundraise 50 lakhs for Personal Protective Equipment needed by healthcare workers at various hospitals in Yangon, targeting those that need them the most. The group raised a total of 28 lakhs which allowed for the donation of 192 PPEs to two main hospitals: North Okkalapa hospital and Yangon General Hospital. However, as vaccinations became more prevalent, many donors diverted their money towards vaccine and oxygen tank fundraisers and YCP was unable to collect as many funds as before. Due to such circumstances, the group decided it was best to also shift their fundraiser towards providing oxygen tanks.
Steven (G11), one of the founders of this organization, said that he and his co-founder, Cherry (G11), were inspired by the teams of doctors who were working day and night to keep the pandemic under control and wanted to help their effort as much as possible by some form of action. They noticed that a lot of people in Myanmar did want to help the effort, but were unsure exactly where and what was needed to be donated. As a result, they set up YCP, a medium through which they facilitated the process of collecting money, using the money to buy protective clothing for the doctors (PPE), and then delivering it to hospitals in Yangon.
Throughout the journey of making YCP the successful organization that it is, Cherry and Steven faced many challenges. Steven noted, “The main hurdle that we had to overcome was figuring out a way to make this entity – YCP – appear credible, so that people would trust us with the money they donated.” To deal with this problem, a Facebook page was set up and was updated on a weekly basis with all the donations that YCP carried out. Communicating with their PPE supplier to deliver the items on time, as well as keeping people interested in their organization, especially after the vaccine was developed, were other obstacles that they had to overcome. Steven commented that if they had a second chance to carry this project out, they would try to get in contact with more than one PPE supplier to have more flexibility over the times the PPE was delivered.
Even though they weren’t able to reach their goal within the 3-month time frame, both Cherry and Steven expressed that it was still a successful project nonetheless as they were able to learn and develop important lessons and skills from doing this project. This includes learning the importance of communication and how dividing duties according to the strengths of each person is essential for good teamwork.
YCP is temporarily put on hold but they aim to get back into action as soon as possible. Visit their Facebook page at @Yangon COVID Project to donate or to check out their past donations!