Nang Aye Khaing (Ma Nang) is 38 and lives in Auk Htone village in Southwest Myanmar with her husband U Aung Min and three children: a daughter, 17, and two sons, 11 and 5. The family runs a small grocery store and basket weaving business from their home which, alarmingly, has lost six acres of arable land due to Ayerwaddy River-induced erosion. So, gradually, the family has become quite poor and, because of their situation, Ma Nang was invited to join newly introduced CROP development activities for especially vulnerable families.
A key introductory activity in the project was one that Ma Nang could have benefited from long ago for her older children; but she is still happy to learn now for her youngest son who, though he is already 5, is benefiting. “I have learned more about how better nutrition is important for child growth and development at all life stages, and of course I want my children to grow up healthy. So, what I have learned about disease prevention and personal hygiene, in addition to what I now know about good nutrition, is also all important to us all. I have shared new information with my whole family and we practice being more health at home: hand-washing before and after meals and after using the toilet, for example. And we eat as well as we can, especially now that I am part of a Self-Help Group for home gardening and chicken raising – thanks to help from CWS.”
As a Group leader, Ma Nang has big plans to organize monthly meetings among 26 mothers in her village and to reinforce the good hygiene and nutrition lessons she has already learned for, as she told us, “our children, who are our hope and future”. She also said, “We are committed to continue home gardening and chicken-raising and to share our knowledge and skills with other families”.