On March 12, 2018, in Yangon, Myanmar, Dr. San San Aye, Director General of the Department of Social Welfare (DoSW), and Dr. Si Thura, Executive Director of Community Partners International (CPI), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) supporting a three-year initiative by CPI to provide Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and Gender-based Violence (GBV) prevention and response services to conflict-affected communities in four townships of Kayin State, Myanmar.
Findings from research carried out by CPI and other organizations indicate that gender-based violence is a serious and ongoing problem facing communities in southeast Myanmar, particularly in areas affected by conflict and insecurity. The stigma and associated silence around GBV and SRH issues in many communities hinder awareness, understanding, protection, prevention and response. Community-based health care workers can play a crucial role in raising awareness, changing attitudes and understanding, and supporting efforts to prevent and respond to GBV, and ensure that all community members have full access to SRH services.
In partnership with the Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW), CPI’s ‘Building Communities With and For Women’ project reaches an estimated 64,000 people in 123 conflict-affected villages across four townships in Kayin State with SRH and GBV services. The project supports a network of health workers in 13 community-based clinics to raise community awareness of GBV, supports communities to prevent incidents, and provides access to specialized health services for survivors.
The project incorporates CPI’s One Stop Service Center in Kyainseikgyi, Kayin State. Staffed by local doctors, nurses and social workers, the Center offers survivors of gender-based violence specialist health care, support, counseling and referral services. The care providers at the Center work closely with the staff of community-based clinics to provide a referral point and ongoing support for survivors.
By working closely with community partners, CPI’s goal is to ensure that GBV survivors receive the care and support that they need. We want to help lift the veil of silence on this issue and support communities to end violence against women and girls.