GVA’s Chris Dumas cycles 500 miles in Myanmar with Article 25

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Share this story:

Myanmar (Burma) has one of the worst healthcare systems in the world. From 4 - 18 November 2017, GVA Senior Director Chris Dumas is joining a team of 20 riders including engineers, architects, journalists and medical professionals, in collaboration with local Burmese professionals, to carry out field research and identify opportunities to improve infrastructure, design and construction of health facilities.

The expedition is spearheaded by Article 25, a UK registered charity that designs and delivers buildings and structures to improve education, health and disaster resilience in the poorest parts of the world. They are covering a distance of 500 miles by bicycle in 10 days around the country from Yangon to Mandalay and back.

The trip and research is funded personally by the team; they are taking the opportunity to raise money to support Article 25's work and would be very grateful for any contributions you can make to this worthy cause. Thank you!

You can sponsor Chris here.

Chris comments: “The combination of fundraising and carrying out valuable research makes this project unique and supports the development of the healthcare infrastructure in a country that is emerging from more than fifty years of military rule.”


Monday 6th November

In Yangon, linking up with local architects and seeing Article 25's work at Rangoon General Hospital. Tonight, we catch the train to Mandalay from where we start our cycle journey to study rural health centres.

Interviewing a Health Supervisor at a Rural Health CentreInterviewing a Health Supervisor at a Rural Health Centre


The Team at Kyetmauk Taung ReservoirThe Team at Kyetmauk Taung Reservoir


Monday 13th November

Third of the way through and we've biked across 240km of the Sagaing and Mandalay regions of central Myanmar and visited 5 Rural Health Centres. Interesting to see how medical care is being dispensed at village and township level and the quality and capacity of the buildings and infrastructure to meet the local health needs.

The local people must think us a bit odd but we have a motivated team and once the initial introductions are over, we jump off our bikes and then swarm over the health centres, making observations, carrying out interviews, taking measurements and drawing and sketching the facilities. We've learnt a lot already.

Conditions are very hot (30-35 deg C) so we are starting cycling soon after daybreak and trying to cover as much distance as possible before lunch. Tomorrow we head to Shan State and the former hill station of Kalaw. We'll be climbing!

Follow fellow cyclist, Geoff Rich’s blog here.

The team:

Harry Day, Grimshaw; Lee Fox, Claridge Architects; Alastair Laurenson, BP; Geoff Rich, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Grant Smith, Photographer; Peter Murray, New London Architecture; Rob Cole, Steffian Bradley Architects; Ruth Edwards, All England Lawn Tennis Club; Tim Wiseman, BRE; Tom Dollard, Pollard Thomas Edwards; Harriette Warner, Ayshford Sansome Architects; Chris Dumas, GVA; Josine Lambert, Article 25; and Kyel Sin, Article 25.

About Article 25

Article 25 has more than 80 projects in 30 countries, making it the largest architectural NGO in the world. Its projects are delivered with in-country partners to ensure that local knowledge and relationships are maximised, and that projects are sustainable even after our involvement has ended.

The organisation is driven by Article 25 of United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to adequate dignified shelter. Its vision is of a world where all communities have access to better housing, safe school buildings and effective clinics and hospitals, and it provides the skills and knowledge needed to make this a reality.