- Published on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 13:34
In Myanmar, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is offering returnees and displaced persons new sustainable professional opportunities with cash distributions and loans. For people having fled their villages and lost everything, they testify of the importance of this support.
Allowing the revival of a village
Populations from Wa Wan in Kachin State had fled their village for years, and today some 80 households have returned. Before the conflict, villagers were growing vegetables, rice and breeding livestock. Today, migration to China is higher than before the conflict, and the village is in dire need of young men to work the land and rebuild. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL selected 7 persons, members of a management committee and gave them 1.8 million Khyat (1,500$).
These 7 persons made loans to some villagers who bought seeds, fertilizers and paid sowing charges to labourers. “The deal is: you have to reimburse the loan in 6 months” explains one villager, member of the management committee. “We started the project in January 2016, with the original grant from SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL, and now we have more than 2.2 million Khyat”.
A chain of solidarity
“For the first round, we helped 17 beneficiaries, with 100,000 Khyat each (82$)” he adds, proudly. There is an interest rate, and if beneficiaries of the project do not reimburse every month, they get a penalty of 2,000 Khyat. The aim of this project is to empower the people and helping them out of a spiral of assistance. “For the second round that just started, we will have helped 30 people. Here in the village, we really appreciate this system because we are able to help other people.”
Giving opportunities to families in camps
Ma Hka Pri San lives in the Robert displacement camp and has received a loan. She had been trained to knitting in a former UNDP project but activities were stopped. When SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL gave her a grant, she used this cash to take knitting activities again. Ma Hka Pri San received 72,300 Khyat in October 2014 (60$) and she used it to buy textile for knitting and a small pig, to diversify her sources of income. “Today, benefits from my knitting activities are more than 400,000 Khyat (330$). This income covers school charges for my 3 children, and I can buy food and medicine for my child who has a lung problem”.
“I was trained in basic accountability and livestock breeding too. That’s why I bought a piglet. I finally sold it three times the price after growth, and I bought 2 new piglets. Today I always report all expenses and benefits I am doing in the cash book given by SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL, that’s how I manage my business” Ma Hka Pri San explains. In her household, only Ma Hka Pri San has received a cash grant.
Her husband is a carpenter, working outside the camp with irregular opportunities, and thanks to her profits she would like to open a grocery store in the camp for him “to have a regular income by taking care of the shop but above all to allow him work here, next to our family” she adds, with determination. These projects improve displaced people’s lives proposing them opportunities, goals and wishes giving them an almost “normal life”.
Photos : © SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL
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This project is supported by the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
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With 78€, you can give 6 hygiene kits to families displaced by the conflict.