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Community Development 2017-04-10T21:19:22+00:00

Our team has worked discreetly with communities in Myanmar and along the Thailand-Myanmar border for nearly 30 years. As the country is opening up, the hope for a more just society is palpable. The transition to democracy is proving to be unequal, however, with many of the rural and ethnic minority communities becoming even more vulnerable. The large influx of international aid is not yet reaching the most marginalized, and armed conflict is intensifying in ethnic minority areas, leading many people to flee for their lives.

The local ethnic communities have borne the brunt of the military dictatorship and ongoing armed conflicts. Their resilience in keeping their communities alive — mobilizing to protect their land, environment, livelihood, and culture — is inspiring. They need opportunities and support to organize, exchange local knowledge, and respond to the issues they find important. Peace and stability will not come to Myanmar without acknowledging the abuses they have suffered and securing their rights.

What we do: Offer strategic funding to local leaders and organizations. We support needs identified by our partners, such as technical support, training, formal and non-formal schooling, support for savings groups, assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS, family planning and community-led research which supports their efforts to advocate for systemic changes on issues such as access to citizenship and national services.

A Community Catalyst

The future of an entire people – the Kayan (also known as the Karenni), an ethnic minority spread throughout eastern Myanmar and western Thailand – is more cohesive, thanks to determined individuals like Khun Anastasio Nay Zar.

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When Home is on the Border

The Sangklaburi district on the Myanmar-Thailand border is a fluid place where the marginalized represent the majority. Over 5,000 workers a day stream through a large gate, crossing from Myanmar into Thailand, for work.

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Living in a Conflict Zone

Outside of Lashio, in Northern Shan State, are hundreds of villages scattered around the mountainous countryside. Conditions are dangerous, with ongoing, armed conflict between the government and ethnic groups. Our longtime grantee Meikswe Myanmar works here.

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