Villagers Help Each Other by Bartering

Paletwa TCD Expansion, 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. Times are very challenging for the village of Yongtu*, as this turn of events has impacted them. Villagers who once marketed their produce in the city have seen the market for their crops collapse. Some markets are closed, and the price offered is so low that they lose money if they sell them. The electricity the community had worked hard to raise funds and plan for, that was promised to arrive in February, has not come. With government workers on strike opposing the military regime, it is unknown when it will arrive.

However, all hope and progress has not been lost. The community has responded to the loss of the produce markets by creating a barter economy. Each person trades from their produce to obtain different food items, thus enjoying a more balanced diet and losing less produce to waste. The new section of road, which the community laid plans for last quarter, has been completed! They are so excited to have finished it before the rainy season. They still have additional roads they would like to construct, but for now their local budget has been exhausted. They plan to continue raising funds as they are able and work on the road more when it is possible. They started small and showed how Transformational Community Development (TCD) can lead to success!

Lastly, our village Champion reported that the soil in the community is not good for growing many types of vegetables in a home garden. They can grow in the fields, but not near their home for personal use. Every time they plant near their homes, the vegetables die. GHNI provided distance training on the concept of Keyhole Gardening, where a person creates a raised bed garden from local materials and can grow vegetables even when soil conditions are very poor. This month, while she has not been able to build a full keyhole garden, our Champion began vegetable gardening in small containers as an experiment, to see if the principle works. It is one step towards a more sustainable future for the community.


TCD Update

Food ― During the lockdown, some families in the community struggled for food. However, our Champion helped them by raising funds from her friends.


Wellness ― The villagers were well aware of COVID-19 and followed precautionary measures. They protected themselves very well and took care of their neighbours.


Thank you,




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