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Myitkina – Looking Forward with Partners Asia-partners


My recent adventure into Burma took me and my photographer buddy to a place we had not yet seen in country. We spent a short two days in Myitkina, a town near the center of the Kachin State. Myitkina has big, unhurried and uncrowded streets and quite pleasant weather, at least when we were there. It borders the Irrawaddy River as it flows south into central Burma and then to the far delta. The mountains surrounding the town appear lush […]

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International Investment in Myanmar: The Realities


Zunetta Herbert Partners Asia Senior Advisor As international investors and others continue to pour into Myanmar to search out deals and opportunities, one company gives a more humane view of the situation they found in special economic zones(1). The situation reported here is repeated all over Myanmar. In November 2014 Partners Asia staff traveled to Kachin State, and found that villages resettled for the abortive Myitsone Dam are now largely abandoned: the rows of brick houses with wire fences, the […]

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Taking action to strengthen local leadership


Written by Partners Asia Team The Philanthropy Workshop West (TPW) ​Members ​join Partners Asia to ​provide action grants to ​local leaders from Burma working for their communities in Myanmar and Thailand. Partners Asia has recently launched a new leadership initiative funded by TPW ​members​. ​Together they are working in consultation with a​ network of local advisors ​to identify ​local leaders and ​grassroots organizations who are engaged in developing innovative projects or expanding current programs to new communities in Myanmar. As […]

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Land Rights in Myanmar – Life is Not Sweet!


by Partners Asia staff Recently, Partners Asia staff had the opportunity to talk with some villagers being defended in court by a lawyer whom we have supported. The area is in Sagaing division, Kanbalu township. To protect the villagers, we have changed their names and those of their villagers. This interview gives some sense of the issues faced by tens of thousands of farmers in Myanmar. The government established a Land Commission in parliament in 2013 to receive complaints by […]

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Interview with Pwint Htun – telecommunications expert


2016 Update: Pwint, now a Board Member for Partners Asia, was also featured in Mary Kay Magistad’s excellent article at PRI.org. Pwint Htun is an early recipient of a Partners Asia Emerging Leaders grant. She is a telecommunication expert and a passionate advocate for the rural poor in Burma. She has been influential in establishing policy and envisions technology and access to information as a leveling tool. This interview highlights the importance of identifying and supporting emerging leaders and the […]

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Women For the World


Written by Partners Asia Team Learning the Power of Saving The cycle of debt for extremely poor families in Myanmar can be crushing. All too often, desperate women secure private loans with very high interest rates to meet the gap between income and daily living expenses. Very quickly they become trapped, working to simply pay daily interest while their debt increases. Women for the World (WFW) was founded in 2004 by a handful of young women determined to break this […]

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Bridging the Gap – Migrant Education Integration Initiative


Written by Michou Tchana-Hyman BEAM Education Foundation Children of a Broken Educational System I arrived in Thailand last year and became aware of the startling number of children working on the streets and at home during normal school hours. In Chiang Mai, a bustling city nestled in the foothills that continue into Northern Thailand, many migrants come seeking work. Here, I joined The Bridging Educational Access to Migrants (BEAM) Foundation and focused on the Migrant Education Integration Initiative (MEII) where […]

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Supporting Leaders and Promoting Respect – Women of Myanmar


Written by Zunetta Herbert Partners Asia Senior Advisor For many years Partners Asia has supported organizations quietly working to give women and girls education and other opportunities to break out of the cycle of poverty and isolation into which they were born.  These organizations, often run by women or including many women in the staff, worked with quiet determination, and did not call themselves feminists, or women activists, but were working with the communities, leading by example and alert to […]

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Digital Dreams – Computers for Myanmar Schools


Digital Dreams (c) Anne Barnett

San Francisco Bay Area teen Lily Barnett developed and implemented Digital Dreams. Lily has traveled in Southeast Asia with her parents, long time Partners Asia supporters, Jim and Annie Barnett. This year Lily fulfilled a dream for many small school children. Personally raising $3,800 from family and friends, Lily launched her own project Digital Dreams with the assistance of Partner’s Asia and in February she traveled to Yangon to deliver computers to a monastic school on the outskirts of Yangon. […]

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Women of Myanmar


Written by Mary and Heather Partners Asia contributing writers In The Face of Change Through our work with Partners Asia, we met many women in Myanmar and in the Myanmar migrant communities in Thailand.  Their presence, inner strength and resilience conveyed a powerful message about their importance in the development of what will hopefully be a new Myanmar society.  Mothers, teachers, community organizers, nuns, midwives, entrepreneurs, translators – we were profoundly moved by each of them.  Here is a collage […]

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