Charity’s David Murray explains how raising £10k will help control the spread of coronavirus
Covid-19 presents an enormous challenge for Article 25, a humanitarian architecture charity, halting our construction projects and putting paid to our hopes of delivering much-needed fundraising events to help keep the charity going. As a result of postponed or cancelled events, we estimate that over £200,000 of funds will not make it into our charity coffers.
One of our long-standing projects is work on the masterplan, refurbishment, and expansion of Yangon General Hospital - Myanmar’s largest public hospital, with 2,400 beds and over 400,000 patients passing through each year. The 20-year work programme has pivoted towards more focused short-term works in response to the pandemic.
Handwashing is an essential part of any strategy to protect hospital patients and staff from contracting and transmitting viruses. Now it hand hygiene is more important than ever. However insufficient access to good hand-washing facilities is a major barrier to effective infection prevention and control.
The Main Building at Yangon General Hospital accommodates over 600 patients and many more staff and family members use its facilities. This historic building is at the centre of the hospital’s response to covid-19. The hospital is suffering from a shortage of basic hand soaps and sanitizers, the water supply and drainage to existing sinks is failing, and new clinical wash hand basins are needed in key locations to allow medical staff to safely carry out their duties.
We launched a GoFundMe appeal to raise £10,000 to take quick practical steps to make hand hygiene and good sanitation more accessible across the site. As we write this article, we have secured £6,769 so far. If we reach our overall target of £10,000 then we can supply 300 litres of hand sanitizer, another 300 litres of hand soap, fix 30 sinks that have fallen into disrepair, install 10 much-needed new clinical wash hand basins, and carry out up to 1,000 hours of plumbing maintenance repairs to ensure a more efficient water system is in place.
Support from the construction industry
On this project, we have been supported by some fantastic partners including Michael Hadi Associates (Structural), Max Fordham (Services/Environmental), Hoare Lea (Healthcare), and ClarkeBond (Civil). We are also working with Beca (engineering) and Statement Architecture+Design (architecture) who are providing local expertise.
More broadly, the charity has built a community of construction industry sponsors, that we call Cornerstone Donors – because just as a building depends on a cornerstone for its structural integrity, we depend on these donors for greater financial stability. These sponsors include Canary Wharf Group, WSP, Perkins and Will, Future Designs to name a few. We’re deeply grateful to each of our sponsors for sticking by us through these trying times, especially when their own businesses are facing such challenging times as well – without them we simply could not deliver our work at the scale we do.
Our hopes for the future
As an SME equivalent organisation, we’re very much the ‘David’ in this David-and-Goliath battle to create equal access to healthcare, education and safe shelter. More than half the world’s population (that’s more than 3.6 billion people) cannot access essential healthcare. There are almost 260 million children worldwide out of school. And countless poorly constructed buildings are endangering the lives of untold numbers of people, which is especially acute in poverty-stricken hazard-prone countries. We want – no, we need – to become the construction industry’s charity of choice in taking on this global development challenge.
David Murray, managing director, Article 25
How to support Article 25
It’s easy to help, you can sign up to give as little as £5 a month to grow our community of supporters. Your company could become a Cornerstone Donor (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). And you could help us to reach our £10,000 target by chipping in to our Yangon Hospital Sanitation appeal