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Key Program Areas

Community Development
We back local leaders and organizations, since they know best what they need. We believe leaders and their communities are the best drivers of lasting change.

How: Support for basic healthcare for displaced people, clean water, informal schooling, security and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS and life skills training are just a few examples of how we respond.

The Rule of Law
We’re supporting the development of lasting organizations and networks that are skilled in holding the government accountable.

How: One key way is to aid rural farmers left out by land grabbing, an issue that’s accelerating rapidly as the country has opened to international investment. For example, Partners Asia supports groups that help farmers register land-use rights and become better aware of their rights. We also fund activist lawyers who represent farmers and others unjustly arrested, and link them into national advocacy networks.

Education
Migrant children and those who live in rural areas or city slums often have limited access to education; we want them in school and for their schooling to count.

How: Partners Asia supports schools in monasteries and other informal settings so all kids can get access to an education. But that’s only half the equation. We’re working with groups aiming to register these informal schools, so their students can transition into the government schools in Myanmar or Thailand with full accreditation.

Leadership Development
In this new focus area, we’re helping emerging leaders to develop the skills and contacts needed to become voices for those who’ve been voiceless for so long.

How: Partners Asia works with local groups and activists to identify new leaders and develop their project management and leadership skills, as well as encourage groups to work together on common issues.

Women’s Rights & Gender Issues
Women are seen as lesser beings simply due to gender; they suffer domestic violence and the use of rape as a weapon of war. We’re helping them pave the way for change as they begin to speak up and seek legal protection.

How: Partners Asia improves women’s access to the legal system by supporting lawyers who will defend women in court — and ultimately help change legal procedures and laws. We support the establishment of women’s savings groups to support one another and build community. Other empowerment grants advance LGBT and transgender rights and security.

Peace Building
As horrific sectarian violence against ethnic and religious minorities displaces hundreds of thousands, we’re funding a multi-pronged effort to promote peace and tolerance.

How: Peace network efforts include peace and leadership training for youth; well-publicized talks by famous writers, monks, and artists that are recorded and spread widely to home-based discussion groups and larger public meetings; and support of monks beginning to doubt the message of hatred and intolerance.