Since 2013, Cord has helped to strengthen the effectiveness of local organisations across Myanmar. One of these organisations is Muditar, which helps communities in Southern Shan state to access basic services and to improve their livelihoods.

Through training and support, Cord has enabled Muditar to become increasingly confident in engaging with the government, raising community concerns around access to essential services, and making recommendations that could save lives. Muditar’s facilitation of public meetings with community members and local authorities is helping to build bridges between the community and local government.

In 2016, U Pain, who is married with a three-year-old child, was concerned that he would not be able to provide their child with an education. Falling prices meant that agricultural work was no longer a viable option, and U Pain was forced to turn to high interest loans as a means of providing for his family, incurring debts that they could not repay. When Muditar first encountered him, U Pain was in a desperate position.

In order to help him to access a loan that he would find easier to repay, Muditar helped U Pain apply for and secure a community bank loan.

U Pain makes a small contribution from his profits to support local healthcare and education, which means the community bank approach is helping both its customers and the wider community. Equipped with the skills and the confidence required to manage his loan, U Pain has strengthened his business and his family’s prospects have been transformed.

“Our family has borrowed 100,000 kyats (£57) from this Community Bank… we only need to pay 3% interest on our loan…which is not a heavy burden for us. With this loan, we have been able to significantly extend our family business.”