* After several year’s effort, CWS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Relief and Resettlement Department of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement in Nay Pyi Taw for “Enhancing Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Capacity in the Republic of the Union Myanmar through improving community infrastructure, especially in Water and Sanitation/Hygiene.” This MOU validates CWS presence in Myanmar and formalizes Government acceptance of CWS work.
* After a pilot / learning years of nutrition education and young child nutrition improvements activities, the initiative was modified to respond to external evaluation results and recommendations from former CWS staff member, Julia Suryantan. A Nutrition Specialist joined the team to take her advice into account for year two improvements, especially related to screening young children for basic nutrition and growth factors.
* The team grew from three to six national staff in 2017 with two new program Field Coordinators and an Ops-Program Assistant to support an integrated community-based resilience initiative with WASH, nutrition and DRR components. Supporting the team throughout the year of change and growth was former Cambodia Country Representative, Isaree Khreusirikul, who will join the team as Country Representative in early 2018.
* The Myanmar team hosted a township level advocacy meeting for the newly expanded CWS “Integrated Community-based Resilience” project in November for 51 people from relevant government departments as well as Village Tract and Village leaders.
* A great year-end highlight for Myanmar came with their hosting the CWS Asia regional WASH learning exchange during which there was a one-day “talkshop” at Yangon and a 3-day field visit to Maubin township in the Ayeyarwaddy delta region. In all, 16 CWS staff from Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and
Myanmar joined the gathering along with partners from Cambodia and Vietnam, too.