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Daw Thein Kywe tells how Women´s Bank support changed her life in Myanmar.

Results: Myanmar

  • 1,173 members in 83 saving and loan groups.
  • 588 women participated in entrepreneurship and vocational training.
  • 116 new businesses were created.

A few years ago, Daw Thein Kywe, 49, decided to join the Women’s Bank Saving and Loan Group in her home village in Rakhine State on the west coast of Myanmar.

It was a decision that changed her life.

Inspired by the saving and loan group, she began to set aside 3,000 Myanmar kyat (2 euros) a month, and her savings started to grow. Learning entrepreneurial and soap-making skills encouraged her to use her savings to start a soap business with the other women in her village.

For the first time in her life, she had access to regular income. But that wasn’t the only thing that changed.

– I started to believe in myself and my abilities. And I wasn’t the only one – other members of the women’s group also felt they now had the courage to speak their mind and start their own businesses.

Now Daw Thein teaches soap-making and sales skills to other women’s groups.

Most recently, having attended a training session on accounting, Daw Thein has become the auditor for the women’s group and for her entire village development committee.

Myanmar: 1,611 women benefitted from our work in 2021

Myanmar’s countryside is very poor and its society is highly unstable. Last year, a military coup further complicated the situation.

Still, our activities continued in Rakhine and Kayin states. Due to the circumstances, we trained local volunteers remotely to hold entrepreneurial, marketing and vocational skills training sessions for women.

Women’s saving and loan groups and joint ventures we supported were again instrumental in ensuring women’s livelihoods. Women also took a more active role in local decision-making bodies, reflecting their improved status in society.

Main picture: Arkhee, Matchless Production