CWS Asia


Sand water filter in Yae Le Gyi school. Photo: CWS

The disaster risk reduction volunteers at one of the billboards. Photo: CWS

Feeding time. Photo: CWS


During the 1960s CWS was in Myanmar (Burma) through the Burma Council of Churches and the YMCA. Our work expanded in 2008, after Cyclone Nargis devastated much of the country; and today CWS initiatives support integrated community development with special focus on preparedness for and resilience to perennial disasters, especially floods, in the Irrawaddy River delta region.

Partnerships with families and communities in coordination with local government address disaster risk reduction and mitigation challenges; and, there is a related focus on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in challenging environments. CWS helps communities increase their safe water access with new and restored wells that are tested for arsenic and other contaminants and then, if safe, improved with the addition of raised platforms and hand pumps. Additionally, we work with school principals and teachers to bring safe water to schools. CWS also supports families to build affordable sanitary latrines at home, which relates to another part of CWS work with families in Myanmar: working with mothers, primarily, to help them improve their young children’s nutrition and wellbeing with improved hygiene alongside integrated education and livelihoods support. Education helps mothers better understand their children’s essential nutritional needs as well as simple ways to promote their wellbeing – like having a clean kitchen and a safe latrine. Livelihoods support, usually for improved home gardening and poultry raising, helps mothers provide an improved diet for their children while earning money selling eggs and surplus vegetables.

In working with communities to integrate activities and approaches to address threats and daily challenges to their lives and livelihoods – and to seize opportunities to change for the better – CWS stands firmly with Myanmar’s people in seeking just and sustainable solutions for the future.

Latest News

Success Builds on Success: One Family Succeeds in Improving Its Life

CWS Myanmar | March 16, 2018

Ma Khaing is a 39-year-old mother of 5 children and, besides the huge job of being a mother and homemaker, she has an added job selling fish. Ko Ye Tun, who is Ma Khaing’s 36-year-old husband, works as a wage laborer and fisherman. Their children’s ages span 17 years, starting with Yamin Hlaing, who is […]

Highlights/Key Accomplishments For The Year 2017

CWS Myanmar | February 20, 2018

* 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 […]

Community-based and led Disaster Risk Reduction Redux

CWS Myanmar | February 18, 2018

Since 2015 CWS has joined with many partners, including AmeriCares, the Pathein YMCA and villages in Southwest Myanmar to strengthen Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction with basic readiness training and with small mitigation projects too. This work followed naturally from years of recovery and resilience work following 2008’s historic cyclone, Nargis, which devastated the Ayeyarwaddy Region. […]

CWS Joins an Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition in Myanmar

CWS Myanmar | February 17, 2018

CWS had joined the 67-member Scaling-Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance, at the Myanmar national and Ayeyarwaddy regional levels as one of 14 international NGO members. The SUN-CSA goal is to eliminate all forms of malnutrition; and, invoking the principle that everyone has a right to food and good nutrition, the alliance unites civil society organizations […]

One Family’s ‘Baby Steps’ in a Journey to Change

CWS Myanmar | December 19, 2017

Ma Ohn May is 43 and lives with her husband-U Kyaw Myint and their six children in Let Pan Tan village in southwest Myanmar. U Kyaw Myint is as fisherman and daily wage laborer, depending on the season. In the rainy season, he fishes from his own small boat to earn about 2,000 Myanmar Kyat […]

One Couple Learns That Malnutrition Is Not Always Obvious, But Can Be Addressed

CWS Myanmar | November 17, 2017

Ko Kyaw Zaw Hein earns an above average monthly salary of 150,000 MMK (≈ $110) at Ngwe Saung Beach Hotel, so he provides well for his wife, Ma Theint Theint Sint, and their two daughters. So, he and Ma Sint were surprised to learn that their three-year-old daughter is malnourished. Fortunately, they were glad to […]

Nutrition Promotion with a Very Special Champion

CWS Myanmar |

U Maw is 67 year old and lives with his wife, Daw Tin, and three children in Let Pan Tan village, where he farms winter crops on nine acres of land that he owns. He is a respected grand old man because he is very active in community development, and he is often asked to […]

ACT Alliance Humanitarian Appeal for Rakhine State Is Issued

CWS Myanmar | October 29, 2017

The current conflict in Rakhine State, Myanmar, started in 2012 and displaced about 140,000 people then. In 2015-2016, about 25,000 internally displace persons (IDP) were then resettled near their original home by the Myanmar government. But, in October 2016 when an armed group attacked national border guards in Northern Rakhine, the Myanmar army response led […]

Ending Breastfeeding Myths: One Key Change for Babies’ Better Health

CWS Myanmar | October 16, 2017

U Ko Ko Naing and Daw Win Win Htay who have an 8-year-old and 6-month-old son. U Ko Ko Naing is a fisherman and a vegetable famer as the seasons allow, and Daw Win Winn Htay is a homemaker. Between fishing, which earns the family about $50 month during spring and summer, and selling vegetables, […]

CWS Continues Support to Myanmar TB Patients Following 2016 Floods

CWS Myanmar | September 13, 2017

Among the many risks children face in Myanmar, tuberculosis is one that develops slowly and often unnoticed by parents and teachers. Fortunately for seven-year-old first grader, Lin Lae Cho is seven, who lives in a village in the far southwest of the Ayeyarwaddy River delta, her TB was detected when her parents started to notice […]

Steady Progress In Nutrition Programs for Myanmar Families

CWS Myanmar | September 5, 2017

Nutrition specialist and long-time CWS colleague, Julia Suryantan, visited the CWS team in Myanmar recently to help review progress to date, and advise on improvements for best practice implementation, for nutrition activities in 15 Maubin Township villages in the Ayeyarwaddy region in the country’s Southwest. Julie visited five communities and met with secular and religious […]

Flood Recovery Brings Lasting Improvements for 85 Myanmar Families

CWS Myanmar | August 18, 2017

Some basic rebuilding in communities that were flooded last July in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region has improved the lives of 85 families in 2 villages of Maubin township, which is due West of Yangon. With the support of Japan’s Felissimo company, 10 families now have safer and more secure houses to live in because basic tin […]

A Precious Gift for Ma The Phyu

CWS Myanmar | August 17, 2017

Forty-year-old U Tun Naing is married to Ma Aye Htay, who is 37, and they live with their seven children, who are 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 6 and 3 years old – in an unusually large family for Myanmar. The children who are 14, 12 and 6 are in school while their older siblings […]

A Bridge to the Future: Safer School Access for Some Myanmar Children

CWS Myanmar | July 31, 2017

Maubin Township is a two-hour drive west from Yangon, and Inn Ma Su village is one hour’s drive from Maubin Township center during the dry season and about 1.5 hours – by boat — in the rainy season when all roads are flooded. About 1,400 people in 322 families live in Inn Ma Su and […]

CWS Support for TB Patients Pays Off

CWS Myanmar | June 13, 2017

Cherry Oo is 22 and lives in Pathein Township in the Ayeyarwaddy River delta region of Southwest Myanmar with her family. Her father and mother are both daily wage laborers, and she has one younger sister, Cherry was also a wage worker earning about $2 a day before she was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2016. […]

“Community WASH Promotion” Workshop Promoted by CWS in Myanmar

CWS Myanmar | May 16, 2017

To support CROP’s Integrated Community Development initiative, several members of our CWS team in Myanmar were fortunate to join 15 civil society colleagues in adding to their understanding of effective Community WASH Promotion during a 4-day workshop that CWS co-hosted with the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST). This was the third in […]

An Engaged and Enthused Volunteer Helps His Community Prepare to Face Natural Disaster

CWS Myanmar | May 9, 2017

Forty-year-old Saw Edimoo is from a village in southwest Myanmar’s Ayeyarwaddy Region, where he is a volunteer for CROP’s Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction project, which is led by the local YMCA branch. Among all five project communities and 20 volunteers, Saw Edimoo is very active and most interested in helping with his village’s development. […]

It’s Never Too Late To Learn: Building a Better Future For Our Children

CWS Myanmar | April 7, 2017

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 […]

CWS Signed a Memorandum of Understanding With Myanmar’s Government

CWS Myanmar | March 29, 2017

Since responding to Cyclone Nargis in 2008, CWS has partnered with local government and national organizations in Myanmar for our emergency preparedness, water, sanitation and hygiene programs in rural communities. Now, we are pleased to celebrate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, which formalizes our […]

Nutrition Project Helps Home Gardening in Myanmar

CWS Myanmar | March 20, 2017

Ma Nge is 34-year-old woman who lives in Bar Ma Nee village in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Region. She is married and with her husband, Mg Nge , who is 40 years old, has two children: Hnin Wai Phyo is 9 and is in Grade 3 at the village school; Phyo Wai Yan is 3 and stays […]

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