Progress in the Midst of Conflict

MH Village*, Myanmar

 

Two months ago, the country of Myanmar was thrown into disarray when the military removed the elected government from power, sparking nationwide protests and civil disobedience. The protests have grown in scale, as has the intensity of the military and police response. Nearly 500 protestors have been killed, and the country yearns for the return of peace and justice. For the village, recent months have been a mixed experience. For over a year, conflict between the military and local militia has ravaged their region. In November of 2020, the military quietly pulled out of Rakhine State, allowing some semblance of peace to return.
 

During this peaceful period, the community cleared paths to their agricultural fields which had fallen into disuse, rebuilt the bridge into the village using locally raised funds, and built seven additional latrines in the village. They have been strong in the face of adversity. However, the impact of the political situation has also reached them. Early February, our staff team had prepared additional Microenterprise Training for the village, to initiate a Transformation Community Development (TCD) rehabilitation programme to help them climb out of the hole created by the conflict and COVID-19 pandemic. For now, it has been postponed. In addition, the community is concerned that with the military take-over, conflict will return. Travel is again restricted for them and they are still experiencing difficulty with water shortages. The Internet has been completely cut in their area. Our plan is to support them from afar any way we can and continue to prepare for the time when we can engage with them again, in person or online.

 

TCD Update

  • Water ― The Water Source Improvement Project is ongoing in the village. Per the recommendation of the two engineers, our Champion has been given responsibility to do the measurements and testing of the ponds. As soon as the measurements have been done, the team will continue to work on the plan.
  • Food ― The GHNI quarterly rice sack distribution has been one of the major sources of food for the community. It has helped most of the village households to have food in their house for a couple days.
  • Income Generation ― The GHNI staff team plans to start rehabilitation projects that would benefit the community to start new microbusinesses for the families. The revolving loan idea would benefit the community for long term as it creates a money pool for those who want to start a small family size business for income.
  • Education ― Schools are still shut down across the country. However, the staff team plans to start a Community Education Programme via social media that would open a channel of learning opportunities for the committee leaders in the village.
  • Wellness ― Under the supervision of the Village Chief and TCD Committees, the village still follows COVID-19 precautionary measures without fail. The community is safe from the virus infection until now.

 

Thank you,

 

Solomon 

GHNI TCD Worker

*For the purposes of safety, “MH Village” is a pseudonym for the village being helped by this project.

 

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