Initial Harvests Inspire Hope!
February 3, 2023
A few Transformational Community Development (TDC) villagers had their first harvest of the agricultural rehabilitation program which was initiated and supervised by the community early 2022. Most of the families who grew seasonal crops harvested their fields for the first time and sold the crops in the local market. The expected profit was not received due to drought in the early monsoon season, and storm in the end of monsoon season. The villagers said that the program has been helpful as it has given them Hope and creates Income Generation. Like other villages, this community has been affected by the civil war and their economy has been damaged for a couple years. The majority do not have a stable income source as they could not work their fields and transportation was blocked or restricted.
The community leaders initiated and planned the agricultural rehabilitation program for the most vulnerable families in the community. The program has benefited 28 families in its first batch. Although the farmers experienced many challenges during their plantation period, eight families who do seasonal crops plantation had their first harvest in this quarter.
U Tun Hlaing grew local cucumbers. In his interview, he said,
“I made some profit, but less than I expected. And I will be able to pay the loan back to the accountability group. In the monsoon season, I thought of growing other crops, but I don’t think I can grow new crops this winter.”
Another villager, U Kyaw Sein Hla also said,
“I made a net profit of one hundred fifty thousand kyats from my first harvest. This year, we had drought, and insects that destroyed crops. Due to political conflict, the crops did not get a good price. I have no problem paying back the loan I took, but I want to take the initial loan again for the second time to do another crop in the rainy season. I want to grow winter crops, however, the problem is that we do not have an adequate water source for winter crops.”
The villagers are so glad that their plantations give Income for their families survival. Due to fighting in the area and instability, effects of weather, and economic crisis in the country their fields did not produce crops as they expected. However, they feel hopeful and find that the program is helpful. Our plan is to continue to assist the accountability group in supervising the program and help the farmers make better crops and higher income.
Transformational Community Development (TCD) Update:
At the end of the rainy season, the water committee made a plan to build water storage by blocking a small stream in the village. Last year, they did the same and it provided extra water for household use. They blocked the stream and stored a good amount of water for winter.
The food committee along with the village Executive Committee main responsibility has been making sure that there are zero hungry in the village. Whenever they see the need, they take action to help the vulnerable families immediately. When it comes to IDPs, they manage to raise funds within the community as well as outside of the community. They feed the IDPs well and take care of the community. By the time, GHNI provided quarterly rice distribution for the vulnerable families, the food committee organized and distributed the aid efficiently to the community.
Out of 28 families who got the loan and started agriculture under the community agricultural rehabilitation program, 8 families who grow seasonal crops have the harvest for the first time and make a few incomes for the families.
The community conducted a celebration of the village school being recognized by the local government as a registered/recognized high school after more than 15 years of the community leaders’ hard work. The event was honored by the local educational minister and his team. It was a great celebration for the community. Now, students in Myat Hlae and the nearby villages can finish their high school education at Myat Hlae. They do not need to travel a long way to other towns. The education committee, the Champion, Man of Peace and the villagers are so happy about the school upgrade.
The wellness committee takes initiative whenever health issues arise in the community. The Champions and the wellness committee sometimes called community gatherings and shared health lessons especially on preventing malaria, hygiene and environmental cleanliness. The wellness committee meets the needs of the villagers during the pandemic. Now, it still continues to spread health knowledge to the villagers. Moreover, the sanitation project has been successfully undertaken by the leadership of the community leaders and the wellness committee. So far, 107 latrines have been built in the community.
Written by: Solomon
GHNI National Field Leader
*For the purposes of safety, “MH Village” is a pseudonym for the village being helped by this project.
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