Catherine’s Myanmar Blog – Blog One

May 5, 2020
Hi, I’m Catherine, INA’s Programs and Compliance Officer. In early March, I spent 10 days in Myanmar, and visited INA’s project partner, Karen Women Empowerment Group (KWEG) to learn more about how your funds are helping women and children. I’ve written a series of blogs about my trip to Myanmar, the first of which you can read below. Please note that I traveled to Myanmar in early March, BEFORE any travel ban had occurred due to COVID-19!

Monday 9th March

I arrived in Myanmar at 10:30 AM, via a flight from Kuala Lumpur (KL). KL and Yangon airport were both strangely quiet and my plane was less than half full. I’m not sure if it was COVID-19 related, or the 6:00 AM flight time! I was met at the airport by the KWEG Program Manager ‘JC’, who drove us to the Taungoo district, where the KWEG project office is located.

Tuesday 10th of March: Project visits.

On Tuesday I visited the project communities! With KWEG, INA focuses on building child rights protection and safety for children. I met with children’s group and heard about their activities and plans for village development. Children showed me their community map (right), where they identified households, services and areas of high risk to children.

 

This also included streams, water reservoirs, electricity transformers and the road where there is high chance of accidents, especially in the rainy season. 

They also drew what they have learnt about child rights, emphasising both their rights and responsibilities. For example, this included the right to clean water, and this means they must keep the village and water sources clean.

Because of this project, children told me they have more friends and participate more in village activities as a result of the project, know their rights and responsibilities, have better knowledge of self-protective behaviours, are more organised and disciplined, and have more confidence than before the project. It was great to hear the children tell me this directly!

 

 

 

I also spoke with adult participants of the Child Rights program (right). They told me children are sharing their knowledge on child rights back to parents and grandparents (a grandmother told me this), and children are more confident and willing to speak publicly. INA also provides business training to this group, which the CBO stated was highly valuable for family finances.  

One teacher even told me that joining the Child Rights program meant she learnt positive discipline techniques.

This is a snapshot from my first few days in Myanmar. Stay tuned my next blog, where I speak with more people, particularly women, about how Community Based Organisation have impacted their livelihoods! If you like the sound of our Myanmar projects, why not consider investing in them? Just head to the ‘INVEST’ button on the top right hand side of this page.

 

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