A Young Myanmar Family with A Brighter Future: A New Opportunity Starts to Pay Off

CWS Myanmar | February 23, 2017

5x4 Myanmar_Ma Kyi

Ma Kyi and her 6-month old son Shine Htet Lin. Photo: CWS

CWS Japan Partnership Helps Myint Myint Kyi, who is known as Ma Kyi, is 22 years old and lives in Inn Tae Su village in Maubin Township of Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Region. She is married and, with her husband, Ye Lay, who is 31 years old, she has two boys: Zin Myo Oo is 5 years old and Shine Htet Lin is 6 months old.  Both parents are daily wage workers: he earns 5,000 Kyat ($3.70) per day and she earns just half that for similar work. Though they are always willing to work, usually there are only 15 work days each month – and only for six months of the year because there is no work in the long rainy season.

This couple is quite similar to many other poor and vulnerable people: once they have spent their saved money from their day wages, they must borrow money from money lenders who charge quite high interest rate (10%). To try to get out of this too-common trap, Ma Kyi has taken the chance to join a series of education and training sessions offered in a CWS nutrition project that is funded by a Japanese food company, Aginimoto.  While Ma Kyi says she liked all the topics covered in the educational sessions, her favorites were the ones about basic nutrition and personal hygiene. Of course she was also interested to learn about raising poultry properly and about new home gardening possibilities because, after she completed those sessions, Ma Kyi was given a rooster and 3 hens and seven kinds of seeds for home gardening – which, with her training – set her on her way to a better financial situation for herself and her family.

Now, every day, she waters the family garden and cares for the soil with natural compost, and she says she has plans to make ‘green’ compost for her plants too. Also, Ma Kyi carefully feeds and waters her little brood and, like others in her group, she is hopeful to soon have more income from selling eggs and extra vegetables (after her sons have been well fed) and she plans to start to save some money for her sons’ education – as soon as she and Ye Lay pay off their debts.

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