With your help, we not only bring relief aid into desperate situations, but we have been planning for and re-building infrastructure to meet children's primary needs; working side-by-side, together with the people themselves. It’s all a part of our three big ideas to shape a future where children affected by conflict and oppression have the chance to live free, full lives.
Partners works to enable families to provide for themselves by initiating agricultural, animal husbandry, and cottage industry projects for sustainable livelihood. By helping communities and families help themselves, we invest in the basic daily needs of children affected by conflict and oppression. Wherever we work, our eye is on sustainable development.
Additionally, access to healthcare is a primary component of a child’s future. By training medics, equipping clinics, hospitals, and community healthcare programs, we work to provide the sort of healthcare and medical access that a child needs in order to live a healthy life.See The Impact
building a health system.
Shan Medical Training Program
This program helps the Shan build capacity to be able to offer basic level health care into their rural communities. In 2009 Shan leadership brought together 60 people at their base on the Thai-Myanmar border from all over Shan State to begin studying health at its most basic level as Community Health Workers or CHW’s. The program has since grown to train these CHW’s further to an increasingly higher level, firstly as Basic Medics and finally as Advanced Medics through an internship-type program.
Village Health Program
This program trains and equips basic health workers in 50 villages in Karen State to provide preventative health education and some curative support. They specifically educate about early childhood nutrition and coordinate with local food-production programs (a separate Partners program). These Village Health Workers or VHW’s, are trained, supported, and managed by a small team of township-based medics who are trained by Partners medical staff. Partners gives topic-based seminars and leadership skills to these Village Health Managers who in turn will train the VHW and monitor the work in the villages.
Sowing seeds for the future.
Sustainable Food Production
Partners is training marginalised communities to organically and sustainably increase their food production through organic farming, animal husbandry, and agriculture techniques, so they are better able to support themselves and ensure children in these communities remain well nourished. Alongside training, supplies to start long term fish farming, crop production and other animal husbandry projects are provided to villages get each farming activity up and running. One exciting technology that is significantly increasing rice farm yields is the System for Rice Intensification (SRI). Partners Technical Development team has been training this technology for more than a year and have seen first-hand the improvement in harvests for impoverished farmers from Myanmar. Not only are these projects decreasing dependence on handouts and combating malnutrition, but they also help raise the self-esteem and self-reliance of the participants.
Agriculture For Education
Animal husbandry projects are a proven method for income generation and this principle has been applied to the community-based children’s homes that Partners supports. These homes help disadvantaged children affected by conflict gain access to education by providing safe and sound housing, proper clothing, nutrition and hygiene. Partners is helping increase the self-sufficiency of these homes by providing training in animal husbandry techniques to caregivers as well as one-time provision of animals such as pigs, goats, sheep, or catfish, along with necessary food and shelter, for up to one year. Ongoing trainings focus on organic farming techniques, how to treat animal diseases, and finance management. Through the income generated from these animals, each home is better equipped to meet it’s needs without relying solely on the support of other people, groups, and organisations.
Empowering communities to
Sustainable Schools Program
The political, social and economic hardship endured by ethnic communities by decades of neglect by Myanmar’s Central Government and oppression under the Myanmar Army has severely limited their capacity to support their teachers, students and schools. Partners Sustainable Schools Program provides one off grants to help impoverished communities initiate sustainable development projects that generate income to support teachers and schools for their children. Partners works closely with the communities to start these sustainable community-run businesses that have the sole purpose of funding schools and pay teacher salaries.
Communities have successfully implemented this business model in Shan State and we are expanding this approach in Karen State as well. Examples of businesses include cattle farming, corn growing and even a motorbike parts shop. By empowering the community to generate income to support their children, we invest in the whole community, raising the value of their children, providing education and improving the safety net so that children are less likely to be trafficked.
Creativity that helps
make ends meet.
Weaving and Migrant Sewing Program
In 1997, one of our Karen staff, Hser Gay Paw, began pioneering a weaving project to help Karen women along the Thai-Myanmar border who are desperate to make ends meet. Now, after years of tireless work, the weaving project is changing lives and transforming communities, expanding to train and support internally displaced people in Myanmar, as well as struggling migrant communities in Thailand.
The women who are helped by this project lack basic education, food, and money for their children’s education. This project helps them to supplement their family’s income to cover basic living expenses, put food on their table, as well as provide them with skills to help make their own clothes. For migrant workers it also means being equipped with skills to help secure better employment. Practicing this fine art, and being able to create a beautiful end product, helps to restore wholeness, worth, and beauty back into their lives.
We endeavor to strengthen families and provide safe nurturing environments for children to grow, while keeping them in school and developing church and social institutions to reduce the number of children sold, kidnapped, exploited or otherwise trafficked into prostitution and slavery each year.See The Impact
Giving refugee children
hope for a bright future.
For the past 20 years, Partners has been caring the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of refugee children living near the Thai-Myanmar border. What started as a gift of $30 to provide care for one child has grown to over 900 children being cared for across 16 community-based homes. Most of the children's homes we support care for children who come from very poor villages. Without the intervention that these homes provide, these children would grow up without an education and with very little hope for a free and full future.
Each home that Partners helps to sponsor has at least two caregivers who function as the overseers, pastors and surrogate parents. Through generous donors, Partners pays for a portion of the caregivers’ salary. We also provide for much of the homes' nutritional needs as well as hygiene packs. What can’t be as easily measured however, is the unconditional love that these precious lives receive each and every day, and how that will impact them for eternity.
Increasing access to
schooling for all children.
Karen Education Assistance
We believe that access to education is fundamental to children's well-being and development. Sadly, access to education is limited for internally displaced people in Myanmar, particularly for those children who want to study beyond the primary level. In most villages, whether temporary or established, there are few government schools.
In partnership with the Karen Education Department and the Karen Teachers Working Group, Partners founded the Karen State Education Assistance Group in 2005 to give greater access to education to Karen children. Today, Partners supports KSEAG efforts by funding and training teachers as well as providing mapping and monitoring support of school supply delivery. More than 130,000 Karen children in over 1,250 schools are given access to education through this phenomenal program every year.
Caring for and empowering
some of the most vulnerable.
SEED Training Center
Partners is passionate about providing practical assistance that helps migrant families from Myanmar escape the desperation of grinding poverty that so often forces them to take their children out of school or even force them into prostitution. Working closely with Shan Youth Power, the SEED migrant training center provides educational and vocational training and support, as well as assistance in getting a secure job, for young migrant workers who are at risk. In particular, we focus on those working in bars, restaurants, construction sites and the local market. Our team also visits local migrant communities, providing after school programs and trainings aimed at combating the communities’ social, educational, and health concerns. Through education, training and support, SEED is helping empower young migrant workers and reducing the risk of exploitation.
Migrant Care Program
Every year, many migrants from Myanmar come to seek work in Thailand to escape the desperate poverty of their homeland, however they continue to face many hardships and exploitation upon their arrival. Through our Migrant Support Project, Partners works with a local church in Mae Sot to assist migrant workers in accessing healthcare, food, education and skills training; as well as finding jobs and enrolling their children in school. Additionally, our team regularly provide free eye clinics in the migrant communities, supplying glasses to those with poor eyesight and helping improve their quality of life. Not only does this practical assistance significantly ease the burden on new arrivals, it builds hope within these families for a brighter future for their children.
Building hope and
Bible Schools Program
In addition to providing access to education, we believe it is imperative for children to have spiritual guidance on their life journey. The Bible Schools Program helps provide this spiritual guidance and increases the educational opportunities of children living in refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. This is achieved through the provision of Bible School Scholarships for 50 students living in refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border, as well as on-going support of Bible Schools’ operational and maintenance costs. Many graduating students go on to provide support, encouragement and work to build reconciliation in villages affected by conflict in Myanmar, helping make these safer places for children to grow and flourish in.
We provide emergency and short-term provision of food, shelter materials, and basic survival necessities for children, their families, and communities during times of acute crisis. Emergency relief is essential when war or social breakdown occurs leaving children vulnerable to suffering and exploitation.
We have been providing emergency relief in Kachin State for the past three years, following the outbreak of conflict with the Myanmar Army in June 2011, which displaced over 100,000 people. As well as providing emergency food, shelter, clothing and medicine, we have partnered with local Community Based Organisations to set up sustainable farms and Community Care Networks that operate to support thousands of internally displaced people living in temporary camps. These Community Care Networks cover a wide range of needs including medical, parenting, anti-trafficking, education and food assistance.
Decades of conflict between the Myanmar Army and armed resistance groups has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Karen State and for the past 20 years, Partners has been there to provide life-saving emergency relief in these times of crisis. Following a ceasefire agreement in 2012, active conflict has reduced significantly, however the effect of decades of civil war and mass displacement on farming and access to healthcare has left many vulnerable to severe food shortages and outbreaks of disease. As well as funding mobile health clinics, we supply medicine when outbreaks occur and distribute food to families struggling to provide enough for their children to thrive.
In May 2012, sectarian violence broke out in Rakhine State between the Buddhist Rakhine people and the predominately Muslim Rohingya. Around 150,000 people remain displaced in and around Sittwe and Maungdaw by the violence. Partners has been providing emergency relief to those in camps near Sittwe, including rice distribution, basic medical support, tarps for shelter as well as seeds and fertiliser to help establish a more sustainable food supply. This is despite increasingly difficulty in gaining access to these displaced populations. Conditions have become so harsh that thousands are choosing to flee the horrific oppression and face perilous journeys in packed boats, only to arrive in Thailand or Malaysia and be subjected to further assaults on their ￼humanity.
Ongoing military clashes between Myanmar Army, their proxy forces and ethnic resistance groups has lead to the displacement of many innocent children and their families caught in the crossfire in northern Shan State. Using the established networks developed through our Sustainable Schools Project, Partners has been able to provide life-saving food supplies, however access to healthcare and education remain a particular concern for these displaced people.
What Defines Us
Driven by our faith, with a commitment to establishing sustainability in our projects and working in partnership with local communities and organisations, we’re helping secure a brighter future for children affected by conflict and oppression.
We’re focused on solutions that move beyond immediate relief. By equipping poor and displaced communities with sustainable ways of empowering them to provide for their community needs, we enable them to flourish even in a state of conflict and oppression.
We’re driven by relationships, not policy. We appreciate the capabilities that are already held by communities and develop partnerships to draw people and skills together to develop creative solutions to the unique problems they face.
We’re inspired by our faith to do more than just talk about God’s love. We demonstrate it through practical response, caring for the whole person by working to improve their spiritual, physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. More on our faith here.
The impact is clear.
Your support makes our work possible and the impact of the investment our support community has made is clear. See the numbers and, more importantly, the stories of hope behind each one.See The Impact