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Myanmar: Sustainable Agriculture in Hpa-an Villages

Naw (R) with her baby on her back is delighted with the new rice mill. © CPM, 2019. Used with permission.
© Church of the Province of Myanmar. Used with permission.

Myanmar – What happens after the war?

Sometimes it is surprising what makes an impact on people. ABM’s Sustainable Agriculture project assists people in three villages in Myanmar’s Kayin State. As in many parts of Myanmar, this area has a long history of conflict, dating back to 1949. During this time many have been displaced from their lands. The project strengthens community resilience by encouraging people to work together on development initiatives using an assets-based approach. Project funds enable the villagers to buy equipment such as a rice mill or sesame seed press to improve their agricultural livelihoods. They have developed community farms, and they are given training on environmental protection and climate change, disability rights, as well as skills such as liquid soap-making, fertiliser-making and animal husbandry.

But it was the two sessions on gender equality that impacted most on Daw Thein Kwye.

“I’ve always believed that women’s duty is to stay at home, look after children and do cooking. But after attending gender equality training twice, I realize that we women have rights and responsibilities in the community. 

I am now definitely doing my duty for the community,” she said.

Daw Thein Kywe, from Thit Or Pha village, has been a member of the village development committee for some years. In that time, she has attended many meetings simply because it is a requirement of being on the committee. But she had never joined in the discussions.

However, since attending gender equality trainings for this project, she not only gives advice to the committee but is leading the committee in its development work.

The gender training has also impacted on other women. Graduates of the training have all formed gender-balanced development committees, something unheard of in the past.

Previously, most committees only had one woman, and she was usually given the job of treasurer. Not any more!

But the project is not without its challenges. COVID-19 has impacted on these villages in that they are near the Thai border, and have had their movements restricted. The project has fortunately been able to help the villagers with provision of food which they can no longer purchase from markets, and with hygiene kits to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Please help the women of these remote villages realise their potential by donating to this project. 

» In 2021 the Sustainable Agriculture in Hpa-an Villages Project needs $17,700 (tax-deductible) 


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 Australian Aid logo    This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government.
Community Development badge  This is part of the Community Development Program: Learn more about ABM’s Programs 

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