Poverty reduction and rights were at the top of the agenda when Princess Marie visited Myanmar in South East Asia this week.
As Patron, the Princess visited together with DanChurchAid a number of villages and projects that support the local population in achieving a better life.
“It was very encouraging to see how simple tools can help to create better conditions for the poor and vulnerable families. The people learn to organise themselves in saving and loan groups where they can take turns borrowing for larger investments like a sewing machine or a goat which, among other things, enable the families to earn their own money and thus feed themselves. It has touched me deeply to feel the pride the people take in the progress they have been able to make themselves,” says H.R.H. Princess Marie.
On the trip there were also Danish donors who are especially interested in long-term development work. The purpose of the trip was to see and get insight in the village projects in Myanmar.
“I have been lucky; this is my second trip to Myanmar. It is impressive to see how far the villagers have got with the work. They want, just like the rest of the world, to create the best conditions for their families, and the result reflects the ambition very well,” says Birgitte Bøgh-Sørensen, a regular donor to DanChurchAid.
Myanmar has experienced an enormous development in recent years. But the positive development, both political and economic, has sadly not reached the poorest third of the population.
The trip went to, among others, small villages near Inle Lake which is located in the central part of the country. Here there was a visit to a village that hadn’t yet received any help and to another village that has been a part of DanChurchAid’s project for a year and a half.
A village gets on an average help for three years and here the population, together with DanChurchAid, manages to create sustainable development that ensures that the villagers get greatly improved living conditions.
The people are taught, furthermore, about how they can ensure a better and more stable income and especially the women organise themselves in groups where they are taught about their rights. A large part of the projects focus also on improving hygiene in the villages so there is better access to clean water and sanitation.
DanChurchAid has worked in Myanmar since 2010. The majority of the projects are concerned with food safety and rights.