The health of low-income families and communities depends on more than access to health care. We revisit a pioneering project supported by Community Partners International in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta that seeks to address health needs and empower women to strengthen the underlying social and economic factors that create healthy communities.
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, provides free health care services to around 10,000 people with Community Partners International (CPI)’s support. They have diversified into organic farming, livestock rearing, and food products to help fund their health care activities and provide better nutrition to the communities they serve.
Against the backdrop of conflict, political turmoil, and economic crisis in Myanmar, a social enterprise supported by Community Partners International (CPI) is piloting a new approach to health care, bringing sustainable, affordable, high-quality primary health services within reach of low-income households.
On International Women’s Day, we meet Naw Wah Khu Say, a young woman entrepreneur from Karen (Kayin) State in Myanmar (Burma). She leads a social enterprise developing a dried, instant version of a traditional Karen soup called "talapaw".
As a small business owner with a disability, Ko Moe has faced many challenges in keeping his business afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic and Myanmar's political and economic crises. But he's not giving up. With support from Community Partners International (CPI) and local partner the Myanmar Deaf Community Development Association (MDCDA), he is determined to return his business to profit.
In Myanmar’s Naga Self-Administered Zone, crop yields for farmers practicing traditional slash-and burn agriculture have been falling due to climate change and deforestation. With support from a private donor, Community Partners International (CPI) launched a pilot project to help communities to adopt new and sustainable farming practices and improve their food security.
In the Bangladeshi community of Doria Nagar, Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh, families survive on daily wage labor incomes of just US$2-3 per day. Each month, as much as 20% of their income is spent on fuel for cooking - either firewood or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). In late June, Community Partners International (CPI) and Green Hill installed a biogas plant in the community as a pilot project to convert kitchen and latrine waste into free methane gas for cooking.
CPI Mask-Making Initiative Offers Income Lifeline to Myanmar Families in Need During COVID-19 Lockdown
The front room of Hla Hla Htwe’s home in Pyapon, Ayeyarwady Region, is a hive of activity. Family members are busy cutting fabric, sewing, washing, and ironing on a makeshift production line. They are making cloth face masks to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. “On a good day, we can produce about 100 masks,” Hla Hla Htwe says. She and her family are part of a Community Partners International (CPI) initiative to help vulnerable families and communities who have lost work due to COVID-19 to generate income through mask making.
"I don’t know what I would do without this opportunity. I was afraid that no one would help me in these hard times."
In 2018, a group of women in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar, were looking for ways to generate income to support their families and help members of their community displaced by conflict. After the breakdown of a ceasefire in 2011, Kachin State has been locked in conflict between the Myanmar Army and ethnic armed organizations. The conflict has killed thousands and more than 100,000 people currently shelter in displacement sites in Kachin and Northern Shan states. From different Kachin ethnicities, the women met through a local Baptist church and decided to pool their resources under the name “Good Mom”.
Down a dusty side street on the outskirts of Myitkyina in Kachin State, the "clack-clack" of wooden looms can be heard in the distance. Drawing closer, in a compound fenced with bamboo, a modest house with walls of woven bamboo slats and a zinc roof sits on concrete stilts. It is home to Ja Dwal Weaving.