Okla. relief team to help cyclone victims

Wednesday, May 21st 2008, 9:14 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to travel to Myanmar Thursday to persuade the ruling generals to let in foreign assistance for cyclone victims.

On Wednesday, a disaster relief team from Oklahoma returned from the region, where they were denied access into Myanmar.

Although their trip into the country wasn't allowed, members said it wasn't a total waste.

"Plan B is to train the Myanmar people and there's a lot of them in Bangkok already," said Sam Porter of the Baptist General Convention. 

The five-man team spent almost a week training hundreds who could go into Myanmar to use water filters and properly distribute food. In fact, the team's plan B worked so well, the group created a training manual for others to use.

"While we were there, the China earthquake took place, and so the materials we wrote this week will go into China tomorrow with a team from another state," Porter said.

Although they never stepped foot into Myanmar, the men hope their training will help the Burmese people provide enough medical care and emotional support to a population that has suffered.

The group said it heard the death toll could reach 150,000, and while the Myanmar government isn't allowing many volunteer organizations from western governments, they are more willing to accept support from religious groups from that region.

The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief team said they are still seeking monetary donations so the organization can continue sending water filters to the area.

Click here to donate, or make checks available to:

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief
3800 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK. 73112