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Christian Aid in Myanmar (Burma)

Christian Aid in Myanmar (Burma)

Christian Aid has worked in Myanmar for more than 30 years in partnership with civil society and faith-based organisations., helping to build thriving and resilient communities.

The key pillars of Christian Aid’s work in Myanmar are:

  1. power to change institutions
  2. tackling violence and building peace
  3. equality for all.

Our approach addresses the connected problems of disempowered people and conflict-affected communities, promoting their participation in the ongoing political and peace processes in Myanmar.

Our expertise includes strengthening civil society, peacebuilding, community health, resilient livelihoods, and humanitarian response and preparedness. Conflict and gender sensitivity cuts across our programme.

We work in partnership with Myanmar civil society and faith-based organisations to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, and advocate for the rights and aspirations of all. We provide grants, technical and strategic support, mentoring and accompaniment to partners based on their needs.

Our areas of expertise

Strengthening civil society

Christian Aid Myanmar strengthens civil society’s capacity to influence and hold the powerful to account, demand good governance and uphold respect for human rights. With our partners, we raise awareness around human rights, democracy, state-citizen relations and conflict transformation.

We strengthen and nurture gender champions within civil society and the government, to influence policies and programmes that take into account the needs of both women and men, fostering greater gender equality.

Tackling violence, building peace

We encourage action by local communities to engage a range of stakeholders to address conflict, monitor civilian protection issues, engage the community in political dialogue, and promote women’s participation in the peace process.

We facilitate dialogue between ethnic groups to reflect the aspirations of local communities and build a common vision towards an inclusive and lasting peace. Conflict sensitivity and 'do no harm' approaches are factored into all our work.

Humanitarian response and preparedness

We promote resilience and build community capacity to prepare for, and respond to, humanitarian crises. We support community mobilisation, access to information, and the participation of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees in planning and decision making around resettlement.

We support partners to humanitarian assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs) in Myanmar. We support at-risk communities to use early warning systems and build their capacity to plan for and mitigate the impacts of natural disasters.

Inclusive market development and resilient livelihoods

We empower poor men and women who use markets - building their assets, market awareness and understanding, and helping them to build links with markets. We also have long-standing experience and commitment to building sustainable and resilient livelihoods, especially in the face of climate change. By ‘resilience’ we mean the power of individuals and communities to live with dignity, recover from disasters and successfully manage the opportunities and risks they face.

Community health

We increase the access of marginalised communities to high-quality health and HIV services. We support rights-based approaches that empower communities’ voice in health systems and universal access to culturally appropriate healthcare. Our health programme is an entry point to promoting gender equality and peace. 

Myanmar-SDC-PHC-Citizen-Report-Card-assessment-1200.jpg
Citizen report card assessment as part of the SDC-Primary Health Care Project

Our aims

  • Civil society and communities successfully influence government and power holders’ policies and practice on sustainable management of land and natural resources, human rights, and peace.
  • Communities are stronger at preparing for, responding to and mitigating risks and shocks that could devastate their livelihoods.
  • Communities affected by violent conflict and natural disasters have reduced vulnerabilities, strengthened capacities, and are prepared for and can influence their own return and resettlement.
  • Poor women, men and communities have improved access to health services, a greater role in health governance, and adapt their behaviours and practices to prevent disease and to protect, promote and restore their health.
  • Reduced economic poverty of poor and vulnerable households through diverse and profitable livelihoods.

Looking for more in-depth information? Download an Introduction to our work in Myanmar as a PDF

Where we work

Christian Aid Myanmar aims to work with the poorest and most vulnerable communities, particularly in the ethnic states of Kachin, Shan, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Chin and Rakhine, and the Bago and Tanintharyi regions. With our partners, we support work in more than 50 townships in these states and regions. In addition, some of our projects also reach communities in the other five regions.

Results

Strengthening civil society

Through our EU-funded project, Supporting Participation, Accountability and Civil society Empowerment (SPACE), Christian Aid, in partnership with Paung Ku, have provided mentoring, learning opportunities, and small grants to 18 civil society organisations across Myanmar for projects to empower communities and address local issues in their target areas.

This includes a research project on the practices of customary law among the Chin State ethnic group, forming a disabled people’s organisation in Rakhine State and providing awareness on their rights.

Tackling violence, building peace

Our projects have raised awareness among local conflict-affected communities in Kayin, Chin, and Kachin states, and the Bago and Tanintharyi regions. We are mentoring 120 civilian protection monitors (CPMs), who build relationships with the communities as well as local authorities, monitor and report on civilian protection issues, and refer people to the relevant agencies for support.

The CPMs support individuals and communities around sexual and gender-based violence, intercommunal tensions, arrest, and protection during combat. Nurturing women CPMs has empowered women to participate in the ongoing peace process in their areas. We also facilitate dialogue between different ethnic groups to address conflicts and build better understanding and a joint vision of peace in their area.

‘At first I thought there was no place in the current peace process for someone like me and it has to be done by people from the top. After the training, I came to understand a normal woman like me can also contribute. Every morning as soon as my two eyes open, I start the monitoring and watch over my village.’
Civilian protection monitor from Mansi township, Kachin State

Humanitarian response and preparedness

Through the UK aid-funded Strengthening Emergency Preparedness Systems in Myanmar (SEPS-Myanmar) project, we are supporting communities in 50 villages to be linked with early warning systems and develop contingency plans. These are based on their own assessment of their vulnerabilities and capacities.

‘Resilience champions’ from the communities participate in Monsoon Forums, discussing long-term weather forecasts and planning their activities based on this. In this way, early warning information flows from the central meteorology department to villages, and a village’s concerns and issues are raised with decision-makers, so they can be more responsive to real needs.

We are also responding to the humanitarian needs of internally-displaced people (IDPs) in Kachin and Rakhine states with funding from Irish Aid. This includes support for shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, and livelihoods. We raise awareness on protection issues such as sexual and gender-based violence and human trafficking.

SEPS-M-community-building-raft-to-cross-the-creek-1200.jpgCommunity build a raft as part of the SEPS project

‘If an emergency occurs, we need to be prepared in advance. I believe we will be able to handle the upcoming disasters next year. We are trying to reduce our vulnerability and increase our capacity to respond, to have less loss and damage from future disasters.'
Daw Hla
Community resilience champion from Pekon Township, Southern Shan State

Community health

Through implementing the SDC-Primary Health Care Project Myanmar, as part of the PHASE-M consortium, we have reached 165 villages in Kawkareik township, Kayin State, and support community and the government to strengthen primary healthcare.

The project supports basic training for community health workers, the formation of village health committees, including women representatives, to bring community voices into health system governance. It has also developed an emergency referral system for greater access to healthcare.

The project facilitates joint planning and activities between the government and Karen ethnic health systems, to foster greater coordination and collaboration between the two sides.

‘I would like to say thanks to PHASE-M on behalf of the villagers for supporting pregnant mothers, children under five and other patients for emergency referral to hospital. Previously, we didn’t know where to go in an emergency. Now, we know, and the village health committee (VHC) also knows how to refer the patient.’
VHC member, Kawkareik township, Kayin state

Inclusive market development and resilient livelihoods

Christian Aid Myanmar is supporting our partner Metta Development Foundation to implement an economic development project in Northern Shan and Mon states. Business plans are being developed for enterprises producing tea leaf products, groundnut oil, and weaving.

Current and Past Programmes

Resources

Published
An overview of Christian Aid Myanmar's work - our goals, partners, and where we work.
Published
Case study exploring 'convergence’ - a crucial issue in Myanmar’s health sector. Since a civilian government took power in 2011, opportunities for a more comprehensive and unified health system have increased.
Published
Case study exploring maternal, neonatal and child health - a vital component of Christian Aid's community health programmes in eastern Myanmar.
Published
Myanmar has the highest incidence of malaria and mortality rates in Southeast Asia. This case study looks at Christian Aid's work to control malaria in eastern Myanmar.
View more resources

Our People

Rajan Khosla
Rajan Khosla

Christian Aid Country Director, Myanmar

Rajan has 20 years’ of experience in the development sector in Asia, including leading DFID’s PACS programme in India. He has extensive expertise in civil society strengthening, social inclusion, conflict transformation and peace building.

Programme Manager
Dr Annabelle Khin Sett Lin

Programme Manager, Myanmar

Annabelle joined Christian Aid in 2011 and leads our health and gender programmes in Myanmar. She has a background in nutrition and public health, having worked previously with Save the Children, taught community health, and worked in a government hospital.

Keren Paul
Keren Paul

Programme Development and Funding Manager, Myanmar

Keren joined Christian Aid in 2010 and has experience in programme development/management and funding having worked mainly on issues of disability, human rights, peace building, and social inclusion in Sri Lanka, India and Myanmar.

Contact us

Christian Aid Myanmar is based in Yangon. We also draw on the expertise of colleagues from other Christian Aid teams across Asia and the world, staff at Christian Aid’s UK headquarters, as well as INGO networks in Myanmar and beyond.

rkhosla@christian-aid.org

+95 (0) 1 378078

Christian Aid
2nd Floor, Bishop Home
44 Pyay Road
Dagon Township
Yangon