New facility provides job skills training and increases household incomes
Timeline: 1 year
Spiritual Engagement: 170
Community Engagement: 520
Anticipated Lives Impacted: 520
Ministry Focus: Holistic
Total Amount Requested: $60,000
In their own words:
“When a young farmer … met his friend … he asked him how he became a successful farmer. [His friend] replied very simply that he had learned agriculture and animal husbandry from the CPM Men’s Association and … encouraged him to attend that training. [He] enrolled in the training sessions, worked very hard and completed the training. When he came back to his village he started his home gardening activity at once. … After 45 days he harvested the first crop of vegetables and brought them to monastery and he presented it to the elders. Seeing his crops were bearing much fruit, his neighbors encouraged him to sell his produce because they know it was fresh and chemical free. Day by day his income increased.” — as reported by church officials
Nearly 70 percent of the working population is employed in or heavily dependent on agriculture in Myanmar. The country has failed to attract adequate financial investment in research, technology and infrastructure, resulting in less than optimal harvests, widespread poverty and a decline in rural income.
Responding to a dire need for skills and capacity building in rural communities, the Men’s Association of the Church of the Province of Myanmar conducts training programs in agriculture, animal husbandry, food preservation, food processing, motorcycle repair and engine repair since 2008. The program’s current facility is able to accommodate just 20 people each year. The need to train more people to improve themselves and their own communities remains great.
The Men’s Association will build a new facility on one-quarter acre of donated land, which will enable the agency to train 170 people each year. Built near the current facility, this space will also enable the Men’s Association to earn revenue by renting it out to other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), local churches and community members for weddings or other events.
The facility will be equipped to facilitate small business activities, such as the storage and sale of dairy products and the production of fish amino acid for fertilizer.
This project benefits at least 520 people:
- 170 people of various faiths will have the opportunity to voluntarily participate in daily devotions. The curriculum will convey biblical concepts in a non-threatening manner. Scripture materials will be distributed free of charge as they are received.
- 520 community members will benefit during the first year after the building is complete.
- Among the above, 170 people will attend workshops on agriculture, animal husbandry, environmental awareness, motorcycle and engine repair or food preservation and processing. As a result, they will learn new skills and be empowered to secure betterpaying jobs or even start a small business.
- 350 family members or other community members will benefit from improved household incomes. Family members will also be invited to attend training sessions
The Men’s Association of the Church of the Province of Myanmar will oversee the construction of a training facility for programs on fruit preservation, food processing, animal husbandry, environmental awareness and motorcycle and engine repair. Located on a quarter-acre of land and near the agency’s existing building, this two-story facility will measure 25 feet by 65 feet and have the capacity to host 170 trainees over the course of one year. This is a significant improvement over the program’s current capacity of 20.
Anyone can attend a Men’s Association training, regardless of faith, denomination or gender. The only requirement is that participants have a letter of recommendation citing their interest in improving their socioeconomic status, strengthening food security in the communities and safeguarding the environment. Church of the Province of Myanmar members will present a letter of recommendation from their local priest; other participants must submit a recommendation from an employer or NGO leader.
Upon completing construction of the facility, the Men’s Association expects to start its training programs by early 2016. Agriculture, animal husbandry and environmental awareness programs will be conducted three times a year, reaching 90 people the first year of operation. Fruit preservation, food processing and motorcycle and engine repair training will each be conducted twice a year, for a total of 40 people. Experienced practitioners and lecturers will lead these sessions. As the number of attendees increases in 2016, the agency may need to hire more staff.
Trainees will have the opportunity to participate in optional daily devotions. The curriculum will share biblical concepts in a non-threatening manner. Upon receiving Scripture materials from a donor, a Men’s Association representative will give them free of charge to beneficiaries. Although spiritual impacts resulting from these initiatives will not be measured, the Men’s Association will encourage spiritual conversations among participants and share the Good News when possible.
Measuring impact: A Men’s Association committee, comprised of civil engineers, contractors and others, will oversee and regularly monitor construction work. Participants will complete pre-training and post-training tests on a daily basis. Although there will not be a major examination, participants must give oral presentations before the close of each session. Lecturers will assess participants individually and give them certificates.
Raw building materials: $42,000
Labor / wages: $9,000
Architect / professional fees: $3,000
Additionally, the Men’s Association of the Church of the Province of Myanmar will raise $16,315 locally. They will be used for a septic tank, water trestle, steel water tank, two-foot diameter tube well, water pipe installation, sanitary ware and electrical work.
Low: 1, Low/Medium: 2, Medium: 3, Medium/High: 4, High: 5
Concept: Risk Level 1
The Men’s Association has more than six years of experience carrying out training programs throughout Myanmar. The members are well-informed of communities’ needs. The recently acquired quarter-acre of land would have been the largest capital expenditure for this project, had it not been donated to the agency. This land and the new facility will enable Men’s Association to increase its reach to marginalized community members exponentially, even within one year. By empowering people with knowledge and skills, this project will extend its positive effects into other communities, transfer benefits horizontally and multiply impacts.
Program Design and Experience: Risk Level 2
The staff of the Men’s Association is knowledgeable enough to oversee this building project. They possess the talent and expertise necessary for effectively training people, and this project enables them to further utilize these training skills. Severe weather conditions or other unforeseen issues could affect building schedules; if completion of the building is delayed, the Men’s Association may not be able to start its training programs in early 2016, delaying any impact. To minimize this risk, all work should be well-planned, monitored and carried out by professionals who are able to steer the construction process effectively.
Leadership: Risk Level 1
The Men’s Association has strong leadership that understands the changing needs of people in Myanmar. Through its livelihood training, the agency empowers individuals and communities to discover their own potential and work toward self-sustainable economic, social and environmental development.
Financial Control: Risk Level 3
Church of the Province of Myanmar has stable management, independent governance and secure fund transfer methods. It is difficult to ascertain the financial position of the Men’s Association as balance sheets were not provided and financial statements provided for two years were prepared in the local language. Comparison between years was further hampered by the government’s decision to change the value of its currency in 2012.
Sustainability: Risk Level 1
This is a one-time building project dependent upon external funding. Future costs will include building maintenance and training programs, which the agency has been conducting successfully for six years. The Men’s Association will also be able to rent the facility for private events, generating income.
External: Risk Level 3
As a predominantly agrarian country, Myanmar is affected adversely by unpredictable and extreme weather conditions, which can breed poverty for rural populations in particular.