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Photo exhibit highlights Myanmar recovery efforts

Adventist NGO documents one year after cyclone

A current photo exhibit highlights the Adventist Development and Relief Agency's work in helping residents of Myanmar continue to restore their community one year after a cyclone devastated much of the Southeast Asian nation.

The 32-image show displays some of the agency's work in the region, including its medical care, recently built cyclone shelters, and ADRA-constructed bridges that withstood the storm, saving hundreds of lives. Other images show locals receiving rice in exchange for repairing roadways or buildings.

"What we're doing now is to help these communities become self-sufficient again," said photographer Hearly G. Mayr, ADRA's director for public awareness. He recently spent four days in the southern Irrawaddy delta region documenting the agency's work.

Remnants of disaster still remain in the area, however. One image shows a 37-year-old teacher standing next to her destroyed school, her face nearly expressionless except for teary eyes. The show reveals other ongoing challenges: a mother and several of her children, who would otherwise go without medical care, wait at an ADRA clinic.

The region had already endured a Tsunami in 2004. Three and a half years later, cyclone Nargis struck May 2, killing some 138,000 people.

At the show's opening reception today, Myanmar's Washington, D.C. embassy Charge d'Affaires Minister Counselor, Myint Lwin, thanked the world's NGOs for assisting.

"On behalf of our government, we appreciate ADRA and what it's done to assist people after cyclone Nargis," Lwin said, also noting that the U.S. government had donated $24 million for the relief effort.

The show runs through Friday, May 8 in the atrium of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's world headquarters, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Click here for map to church headquarters.