So often, Tearfund’s partners find that women like Daw Pauk Sa (pictured) are the ones that most benefit from being part of community development programs. Perhaps it’s because they start as the poorest and most marginalised in their village. Or perhaps, as with Daw Pauk Sa, they just work really hard to overcome the odds.
My name is Daw Pauk Sa and I am 45 years old. I have lived in my village since my early childhood. I have two children, but I lost my daughter during Cyclone Nargis and now I am living with my son, who is 22 years old. He does odd-jobs such as fish netting and transplanting nursery paddy plants. Due to my poor health, I stay at home and raise chickens, ducks and pigs.
In June, World Concern Myanmar helped us to start our small poultry farm. They gave us 7 hens and 1 rooster. According to the rules and regulations, the first beneficiary has to hand over the capital and interest to the second beneficiary after 3 and a half months (but they keep the original animals). Thus, in September, I handed the money to the development committee to the second beneficiary.
I now have 4 hens, 1 rooster, 1 pullet, 28 chicks and a few ducks. I sell some for meat and I keep the eggs for further breeding. I am also raising a pig with a neighbour – they pay for the pig’s needs and I look after it at my home.
Our average income is enough to meet our needs, and we eat three meals a day. There’s enough for me to save to use for my health costs.
My son is now in charge of the rice bank,* and a member of the Health Emergency Fund Committee.* He is in a Self-Help Group* and is the Secretary of the Village Development Committee.* I am very happy that he actively takes part in our village development and I am very proud of him. Whenever there are meetings, he goes around the village to invite respective members, organise and participate in the meetings. Since we have joined the Committee, we have better social connections among our villagers and can access loans with little interest.
I hope I can start to raise my own pig with the profit of this poultry. Together with World Concern Myanmar, my son and I intend to participate in village development work as much as we can. Again, thank you very much and all of the best will be yours.
* All of these activities were initiated by World Concern Myanmar. WCM is part of World Concern, a Christian global relief and development agency, "extending opportunity and hope to people facing extreme poverty".