Kay's journey: Overcoming challenges and leading community development

Kay and her son
Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Kay, a 40-year-old woman, lives with her family in a small village in Bogale Township. Kay is a mother to a 7-year-old son who is attending Grade 1 and is also 5 months pregnant. She was born with disabilities on her hands. Despite her condition, she received care and support from her parents. However, as she matured, she began to feel insecure about herself.

After Cyclone Nargis in 2008, World Vision Myanmar initiated a food programme in her village. Since then, she has been actively involved in various programmes of World Vision. In 2009, she volunteered for her community's Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programme. Through her participation in World Vision's programmes, Kay had the opportunity to attend training sessions provided by the organisation.

Reflecting on her experience, she shares, "I felt nervous and insecure when I initially joined the training. However, with the support and encouragement of facilitators and fellow participants, I gained confidence and improved my communication skills. The training covered ECCD, Health, and Disaster Risk Reduction topics. I was able to share what I learned with my family and community." Kay actively engaged in World Vision's community development programmes, including UNCRC Day, Child Protection Awareness Raising, ECCD programme, and Health and Nutrition Awareness.

In 2016, Kay got married and moved to her husband's village. Leaving her village and the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programme was a challenging transition for her. Her husband is employed as a casual labourer, and Kay, in addition, sells food and groceries to contribute to the family's support. While they may not be wealthy, they consider themselves a content and happy family. However, at times, Kay finds herself reminiscing about the community development moments she used to be a part of.

In 2021, Kay returned to her native village and reengaged in village development activities. She had the opportunity to participate in the Anticipatory Action Protocol (AAP) Project workshop conducted by World Vision. Subsequently, she was chosen as the leader of the Village Disaster Management Committee (VDMC) in her village. Reflecting on her experience, she stated, "I had the chance to attend training sessions, workshops, and meetings on disaster risk reduction, and I could share that knowledge with my village. Leading the VDMC and the village, we prepared for natural disasters. The preparedness included some practical activities, such as raising awareness to strengthen houses, preparing temporary shelters, clearing the route for temporary shelters, storage of food and water, relocating prioritized vulnerable people and communities, and relocating people, animals, framing tools and fishing materials to safer locations." Despite facing limitations and challenges, Kay wholeheartedly serves her community to the best of her abilities. With a big smile, she expresses, "I will continue contributing to community development for as long as I can."