PHOTO ESSAY: Making a Difference in Myanmar

Lives are being transformed in Myanmar. The world’s 14th poorest country, local community partners are reporting immense impact from the Irrawaddy River Delta Region to the outskirts of Yangon due to the savings and loan groups, as well as, financial and literacy training. On a recent visit to Myanmar, the program team saw first hand the effects of implementing savings and loan association groups, the thriving partnership with Mothers’ Union and receiving positive feedback from group leaders. Take a tour below of the agricultural community in Myanmar.


A woman carries construction wire as she shops at a Delta General Store in Myanmar. The Delta region of Myanamar comprises almost 20,000 square miles and is populated by 3.5 million people who are mainly farmers. The whole area is low lying (as low as 3 metres above sea level) and was devasted by Cyclone Nargis in 2008 when well over 100,000 people were lost.


Red chillies are laid out to dry in the sun, then ground in a mortar and pestle for use in preparing traditional Burmese noodle and vegetable dishes. Crops such as chillies, potatoes, various leaf vegetables combine with various fruit trees such as mango, papaya, banana, etc. provide families with food for themselves and also for sale in local markets of Pantanaw.


Women harvest Betal Palm leaves and bamboo in traditional Burmese shade houses in Dyung Daw Galey.
The proximity to Irrawady River banks and the inevitable floods each year prohibits growing rice or participation in rice banks.
Bamboo is cut, stacked and sold for the purposes of constructing the shade houses.


Savings and Loan group leaders gather for a photo before their annual meeting in Chaung Tha.
Five Talents and Mothers’ Union conduct training and interviews with the group leaders
discussing the value of the financial inclusion programs and their hopes and aspirations for the future.


Beside the banks of the Irrawaddy river is the village of Dyung Daw Galey.
The village is under constant threat from the river which, each year, erodes more of the village land into the river.
River floods in this region are a major challenge as they remove acres of land surrounding the village each year.
All of the houses in the village have been relocated as far as possible from the river bank as many houses and the village church have already been taken by the river.
The village itself, is under up to 5 feet of water for 5 months of the year due to the river breaking it’s banks
and flooding throughout the entire living area. Houses are built on poles to maintain a safe height for the occupants.


Fish are laid out to dry in a rural Myanmar village before being used to prepare traditional Burmese fish paste.
Fish comprises a large part of the dietary needs of the local people. Rice is the main staple.


Members of the Moses group in Dyung Daw Galey participate in the growing and harvest of their main crop of Betel Palm leaves,
for which there is a ready market in the nearest large town of Pantanaw.

The Palm Leaves are grown in specially constructed shade houses to enable ideal growing conditions.

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