Social Development

Support in Karen State and eastern Mon State in Myanmar

Electrification of 29,000 homes of conflict victims!

Many people in Myanmar have suffered from conflicts that have continued for over 70 years. People living in areas controlled by Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO) have been living in harsh living conditions and almost all the infra structures are not furnished and had little access to international assistance. However, on October 15, 2015, the government of Myanmar and eight EAOs, including the Karen National Union (KNU), agreed to the ceasefire, making it possible to deliver assistance to areas that had previously been closed.
In partnership with the Nippon Foundation, which has many years of experience in assistance work, BHN decided to begin a project to electrify homes in Non electrified villages using solar power, starting in the KNU controlled Thaton District.
Another major objective of this project is to pave the way for a ceasefire agreement by showing to other EAOs that “Stopping the civil war made things much better.” (BHN calls this “the fruits of peace.”) Regretfully, the coup of Feb. 2021 forced many of the EAOs to stand by the Democratic Forces (People Defense Forces) and canceled the ceasefire agreements.
Such situation made the districts of BHNs activity much diminished in Kayin (Karen) and Mon States.
Since the start of our project, BHN has continuously conducted this electrification project in the EAO areas and installed solar systems in about 29.000 homes by the end of the project in Oct. 2022.
Now, from the start of the new year, we could agree with the EAOs in Kayin (Karen) and Mon states to start next project.   We proposed to EAOs to place priority to the public facilities in their villages like;

(a) installation of computer systems with solar power into schools to enhance the computer literacy of the students. (10 schools)

(b) installation of solar power and computer systems into hospitals/clinics to enhance the serviceability to villagers. (17 hospitals/clinics)

(c) installation of home use solar power systems (3,955 houses in Mon EAO area)

However, due to various new regulations enforced by Junta are causing many tasks for all the INGOs active in Myanmar and our start of action may be delayed for a certain period.

“Backpack Radio” project

Addressing the changing challenges of global disaster risk reduction by small radio stations.
For Indonesians suffering from volcanic eruptions every year, a portable radio station called “Backpack Radio” was developed. (It consists of an FM transmitter with antenna, battery and solar panel. The radio station starts in 10 minutes and can broadcast news and music using a dedicated smartphone app.)
Eight sets of equipment were provided and used effectively during the recovery of the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake and 2017 - 2019 Mt. Bali Agung eruption.
The goal is to provide “backpack radio” to community radio stations in the mountain area from January 31 to December 25, 2017.
A workshop for Merapi and other broadcasting staff were held in Indonesia and to raise the funds to procure the equipment, a crowdfunding campaign were held. We received donations that far exceeded our funding goals.
The concept of “backpack radio” was highly appreciated by members of the Community Radio Broadcasting Association (AMARC) , and the seminar held in Java, Indonesia in March 2018 was a big success.
At the AMARC Asia - Pacific Conference held in November 2018, a presentation titled “Backpack Radio” was given to a local broadcaster.

Kumamoto Earthquake Relief and Support Project

The Kumamoto Earthquake which struck on April 14 and 16, 2016, caused an unprecedented catastrophe in the Kumamoto Prefecture.
BHN conducted a survey of needs for people affected by the disaster,  opened BHN Kumamoto office, and provided the following two support projects. (1) BHN opened BHN PC corners in the temporary community space of 6 public shelter - gymnasiums in Mashiki, Kashima and Mifune town, provided ICT consulting services to victims. (2) After that, BHN moved and opened BHN PC corners at the 50 meeting rooms of temporary housing estates built in Kumamoto city, Mashiki, Kashima, Mifune, Kousa town, Minamiaso and Nishihara village, and supported their community development activities, such as various kinds of PC training courses, ICT health care activities and periodical traveling technical consultations.
Since fiscal year 2019, the number of people staying in temporary housing estates has clearly been decreasing. The local governments announced the temporary housing estates integration plan that the temporary housing estates will be divided into two types (to be terminated or to be continued) . BHN would continue support activities for the remaining temporary housing estates. BHN removes BHN PC corners which have accomplished their purposes from the temporary housing estates, reopens BHN PC corners at the meeting rooms of the Disaster Restoration Public Housing estates, according to strong requests from the local government, etc., for a limited period, and would support their community development activities.

Western Japan Heavy Rain Relief and Support Project

The torrential rain that occurred in western Japan on July 6, 2018, caused tremendous human and residential damage throughout the western Japan region, especially in Hiroshima, Okayama and Ehime prefectures. BHN selected Hiroshima prefecture for support project area, opened BHN Hiroshima office and Fukuyama office.
BHN opens BHN PC corners at the meeting rooms of temporary housing estates built in Kure city and Saka town (BHN Hiroshima office) and in Mihara city (BHN Fukuyama office) , and supports their community development activities, such as periodical patrol for equipment inspection and small PC training courses.
Based on our experiences in the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Kumamoto Earthquake and other disasters, BHN takes an initiative to provide assistances that emphasize ICT practical use, such as placing many local ICT specialists for PC training courses and engaging in the work of sending, receiving and sharing information, as much as possible in partnership with the disaster victims.

Project to support novel coronavirus response using reuse tablet devices

Thanks to the generosity of a company (Video Research Inc.) that uses many tablets in its business activities in Japan, approximately 7,000 tablets that have been used for a certain period of time and have finished being depreciated were donated to BHN through the University of Electro-Communications.
Even though the tablets are no longer depreciated, they are still powerful enough to be used for telework and telemedicine education.
With the cooperation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and the University of Tohto, BHN has decided to reuse these tablets and promote activities to deliver them to medical sites in Japan, disaster areas, and developing countries in Southeast Asia and Africa. We hope that by using these tablets, we can be of help in supporting the response to the new coronavirus in Japan and abroad.


Supports you can do

BHN aims to improve the living conditions and solve social issues by utilizing information and communication technology (ICT) to protect the safety and security of people in developing countries and disaster-stricken areas in Japan and overseas. For this reason, we need the kind support and cooperation of many people. BHN offers a wide range of people, of all ages and from all walks of life, the opportunity to contribute their enthusiasm, their strengths, and their accumulated experience in a variety of ways. BHN invites you to participate in BHN activities in a way that suits you.