Yu, 18 years old, is a member of 'Kyunthu Kyunthar' producer group and also a member of a savings group in her village. She lives with her mother and younger sister while her father and brother are migrants in Thailand. She is currently waiting for the exam results of her freshman year at Hpa-An University.
After saving her pocket money in the savings group in her village for three years, she has been able to invest her savings into a producer group called Kyunthu Kyunthar and obtain a regular monthly income.
“I didn’t want to bother my mother asking for money for me every day when I go to school. So, I started saving in the group,” Yu explained.
With her savings, Yu invested 500,000 MMK (US$350) in the producer group, a group that produces liquid soap, soy milk and soybean crackers, selling them to local buyers. At the end of every month, Yu normally earns around 30,000-50,000 MMK (US$15-30).
“I normal save the profits for the transportation and pocket money for the next college term. And I sometimes give pocket money to my younger sister. Thanks to savings group practices and the producer group, I’m having my own income and I can even support my family,” says Yu.
Yu dreams of becoming a teacher or to start her own business when she grows older. She believes that the experiences from being a part of this producer group and the trainings she attended from World Vision will help achieve her future dreams.
Kyunthu Kyunthar producer group is formed with six members. With the investment of each member, they buy raw materials and ingredients to produce liquid, soy milk and soybean crackers. After that, they distribute their products in local markets to buyers. Before World Vision implemented its Value Chain Development project, most of the community members depended on farming as their main income source. Outside of the harvest season, most of them did not have a regular income.
“We didn’t have anything to do after the harvest season and because of that our income were low and we couldn’t support our family well. When World Vision introduced us the technology in business development, everything has changed since then. We don’t have to wait for the harvest season to have income, we don’t need to depend only on farming for our living anymore,” Daw Than, a member of Kyunthu Kyunthar producer group, shares with enthusiasm about the changes.
The village is located on a big island of Thanlwin River, Kayin State. World Vision also implements its Value Chain Development project in seven nearby villages, forming Agricultural and Livestock producer groups and creating market opportunities. By giving technical support and networking markets for the community, they are able to produce quality end products and sell collectively in local markets and other townships which leads to sustainable income.
“I believe Value Chain Development Project is really suitable for the people in this community because it increases the capacity of the community and helps them to stand on their own. I’m sure that even if World Vision is no longer presented in this community, they will continue to adopt these good practices and will be a prosperous community,” Saw Edison, a Community Development Facilitator from World Vision says.