Catherine’s Myanmar Blog – Blog Two

May 5, 2020

Hi again! Catherine here, INA’s Programs and Compliance Officer. This is my second blog about my recent trip to Myanmar to visit our project partners, Karen Women’s Empowerment Group (KWEG).

If you haven’t read my previous blog, please do so here! Blog Two is about listening to more Community Based Organisations (CBOs), including a women’s group, and a little about my time in the KWEG project office. Please keep in mind that I traveled to Myanmar in early March, before any travel restrictions where in place due to COVID-19. Happy reading! 

Wednesday 11th of March: Second day of Project visits.

Like Tuesday, I met with more CBOs. One group I spoke to (pictured right) gave me great insight into their risk management plan for children walking to school. During the rainy season, visibility on roads is very poor due to the mist, which is extremely dangerous for the children who walk along it to get to school. Because of this, this CBO organised car transport to take children to and from school. They even covered the cost for families who couldn’t afford to contribute. How cool is that?

I also had the pleasure of speaking to a women’s financial group INA has contributed to (pictured below). Over the past 12 years, this women’s group has created a pool of 500,000 Kyat ($575 AUD) as an emergency fund for all the women and their families. This money can be used for anything from school fencing, to funeral costs, to health emergency grants. Through business training they have learnt to keep a good records and analyse their profit and loss from investments. Thanks to this group, they also noted there is better coordination and friendships between women in the community.

Thursday 12th March: Time in the Taungoo office!

Alongside visiting INA’s projects, INA staff always spend time in our project partner’s offices during our visits. This is so we can thoroughly cover the more technical aspects of the work, including changes seen in the community, challenges and project data. It helps us ensure everything runs effectively, and complies with standards. Some of our success include better engagement from Government authorities to engage with communities, and children knowing and claiming their rights.

And that was my Wednesday and Thursday in Myanmar! Tune in next time for my third and final blog. I’ll be discussing what I did on Friday 13th of March and Monday 16th March (as we spent the weekend travelling and resting). 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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