Donations Bolster Exotissimo's Relief Efforts for Myanmar Cyclone Victims

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After Cyclone Nargis struck the low-lying Irrawaddy River Delta in Myanmar in early May, Exotissimo Travel initiated immediate relief efforts to the devastated region.

With our Exotissimo Myanmar office operating from Yangon, we are in a unique position to render quick and effective humanitarian assistance to the affected areas, lessening logistical and operational challenges.

After Cyclone Nargis struck the low-lying Irrawaddy River Delta in Myanmar in early May, Exotissimo Travel initiated immediate relief efforts to the devastated region.

An estimated 1.3 million of the population was affected by Cyclone Nargis. The storm was one of the worst natural disasters to hit Myanmar in decades.

Hamish Keith, Managing Director of Exotissimo Travel, said, "Myanmar is one of the destinations that we work and operate in. After learning the plight of the delta residents in the wake of the Cyclone Nargis, it is our obligation to lend a helping hand to the affected communities, especially the most vulnerable groups."

He added, "With our Exotissimo Myanmar office operating from Yangon, we are in a unique position to render quick and effective humanitarian assistance to the affected areas, lessening logistical and operational challenges."

A four-member relief team from Exotissimo Yangon was immediately deployed to assess the situation and provide immediate and direct aid. After the initial assessment, Exotissimo returned to the affected area with much needed supplies, including cotton blankets, biscuits, mosquito nets, rice, beans and potatoes, to distribute to the cyclone victims.

Exotissimo and the Appletree Group set up an emergency fund with a donation of $20,000 USD, and have received over $80,000 USD from generous travel trade partners. Online travel company FriendlyPlanet.com and its clientele donated an incredible $12,000 USD over a few short days. Exotissimo is managing the funds until a reputable and trusted non-government organisation or charity is found to take over the funds.

In Shwe Taung Su village, Exotissimo teamed up with French travel company Ormes to reconstruct a primary school that has been leveled by the cyclone. The school is now furnished with enough furniture for the 150 students studying in the school. Exotissimo and Ormes contributed $7,000 USD and $8,000 USD respectively to this effort.

Belgium-based Kids of Myanmar helped Exotissimo to raise funds for the hard-hit region. The organisation was founded by responsible travel specialist Destinations Unlimited to provide supplies, water purifiers and medicine to the victims of Nargis. Kids of Myanmar has raised almost $70,000 USD by getting in contact with their pool of generous donors.

With the combined support of German tour operator Geoplan, a medical clinic was built in Ah Latt Chaung village. Now fully operational, the clinic services the surrounding community of six villages, comprising of 18,500 people.

With the kind contribution of $7,000 USD from Vietnam Women Association Bazaar, Exotissimo was able to provide 14 tractors and some diesel for Thamein Htaw Kon Tan village. In addition, Exotissimo also donated agricultural machinery, including 18 walking tractors and hand tillers, to the villages of Thamein Htaw Thein Gone and A Phaung in Pyarpon Township so that the local farmers can plow the fields in time for harvesting.

Exotissimo's work in Myanmar is led by Su Su Tin, Managing Director of Exotissimo Myanmar. She said, "We are very encouraged by the progress made since the disaster. We hope donors will continue to respond generously to this relief and recovery appeal and Exotissimo will do as much as we can to help restore lives to normalcy."

To date, $96,829 USD have been donated to Exotissimo's funds. Exotissimo has delivered emergency relief packages to more than 28,000 people in 58 villages.

How to help:
Donations can be sent via Exotissimo's website at http://www.exotissimo.com/gateway/myanmar-cyclone-relief-fund.php

Exotissimo Travel is a local tour operator based in Bangkok, but with offices throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. The company focuses on designing custom travel holidays providing unique travel experiences. Opened in 1993, the company is now a network of 15 locally-based offices staffing over 500 travel professionals, and sales offices in San Francisco, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and Melbourne. The company's depth of experience and large infrastructure enable it to create unique itineraries with the operational confidence to fulfill client expectations.

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