10 Aug

Flexibility “ADDs” to the Solution

Drought? Pandemic? Flooding? There is a lot to be said for a development model (i.e., solution to poverty) that can succeed under difficult, even disastrous, conditions. Given that disasters like...
7 Jul

What Does It Take to Graduate?

Over the course of a 6-year partnership with Shanta, villages create committees to manage the different projects and areas of interest they have chosen. This might be an education committee to...
24 Jun

All of ______ is Corrupt

Years ago, I was talking to a potential donor about a development project in Latin America. Before I could get a full sentence out, this person interrupted me and blurted out, “I won’t support...
9 Jun

Becoming a Village Nurse Midwife

Nang Thein Oat grew up in Pin Laung Township in Southern Shan State. She went to school through 10th grade but struggled to pass her state exams. Her family could not afford to continue her...
12 May

Shanta Remains Steadfast: Supporting Partner Villages During Challenging Times

This has been a very volatile time for Shanta Foundation’s partner villages and Myanmar staff. We have learned that the most important thing is to keep showing up. That doesn't mean that we show up...
28 Apr

Humble Roots, Big Dreams

Nang Ohn Kyi has humble roots and big dreams. She comes from a poor village where her family subsists on growing cheroot, wheat, and tea leaves. Nang Ohn Kyi is the first in her family to attend high...
21 Apr

The Toughest Decision of All

Choosing villages to partner with is a weighty decision made each year by our fantastic staff in Myanmar. Partnering with Shanta requires more than just picking villages that seem to have the most...
14 Apr

Thingyan Traditions

Thingyan is the most significant annual festival on the Myanmar calendar. Held over several days, it marks the end of the hot, dry season and the start of the New Year: the beginning of the Myanmar...
7 Apr

Paul Farmer: Pioneer in Social Justice

Shanta Foundation addresses inequalities in rural Myanmar by empowering villages to assess their own needs and fund their own solutions. Community banks, transparent committees, and training in new...
17 Mar

Snack Success!

“I’m excited to make my future plans happen. I feel that our village is lucky to have the community loan fund. I love it. I believe that I am also able to make my dreams happen,” U Htut Lay...
8 Mar

Empower a Woman, and You Change the World Forever!

"When you educate a girl, there is a ripple effect that goes beyond what you would get from a normal investment…When you educate a girl, you educate a village." --Sheryl WuDunn in "Half the...
3 Mar

Burning the Ashes: Civil War, Poverty and the Revictimization of the Poor

Myanmar is a tragedy. Already one of the poorest countries in the world and often ranked as the poorest country in Asia, the civil war that began after the February 1, 2021, coup has only worsened...
24 Feb

Education in the Form of Coffee

Wai Ti is 35 years old and has been married for 14 years with three children. She did not go to school as a child and thought it was too late for her to get an education. Little did she realize that...
17 Feb

Natural Fertilizer=Increased Yields!

“I am happy that I am able to produce these natural inputs very well. I feel that it’s worth to invest time to produce. Results are not only for me but also for my next generations. I am now...
10 Feb

Thanaka- A Cultural Adornment

For Shanta to achieve our goal of a community-led approach that results in a village being self-sufficient after six years, we must make sure we gain the villagers' trust. Therefore, it is vital that...
4 Feb

Can A Magical Engine Power Development?

“The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.” Albert Einstein   Yes, it can. I have been leading the Shanta Foundation for almost two years now, and I am still...
27 Jan

Education + Opportunity = Women’s Empowerment

20-Year-old Nan Khan Pin has participated in her village Self Help Group (SHG) since she was 18. Her education only went through 5th grade, and as the youngest member of the village group, she was...
13 Jan

Myanmar Culture:  Respecting Partner Villages through Awareness of Norms

To do sustainable humanitarian work in Myanmar, as Shanta does, requires learning to respect cultural norms and acceptable behavior.  This effort can make or break a relationship built on trust and...
16 Dec

Zambia Expansion Update

Greetings Shanta community!  First, I want to wish you and yours an incredible holiday season filled with laughter, love, and the joy that comes from knowing that YOU are permanently eliminating...
2 Dec

Resiliency and Development Part II

Transformative Capacity  Transformative capacity means having the ability to affect systemic change or create a positive enabling environment for people to work together to invest...
24 Nov

November 2021 Newsletter

Visit this link to read more about the impact of U Maung Boat's new business, as well as view the rest of our November Newsletter, which also contains pictures from our recent Zambia expansion...
11 Nov

Chocolate Fountains and Women’s Empowerment

Thoughts from Executive Director, Wade Griffith Ever been to a Golden Corral restaurant? For your sake, I hope not. Still, there is one fantastic attraction at these semi-seedy buffet joints. THE...
4 Nov

Resiliency and Development

Community-Led Development in the face of COVID19? The emergence of COVID-19 in 2020 posed an existential threat to thousands of international development programs. Organizations stopped operations...
25 Oct

Water for Aung Le!

Imagine walking a mile to retrieve water for your everyday use. It may require several trips a day to complete ordinary tasks like cooking, cleaning, animal care, and watering garden plants. These...
13 Sep

What I Am Fired Up About

While I am always enthusiastic about Shanta's work, I get truly enthused when I think about Shanta's future. On the cusp of expansion with a blueprint of the Village Partnership Model (VPM) in the...
27 Jun

No Longer Left Behind

Ma Khin Lay is a 37-year-old married woman living in Htee Lone village in Taunggyi Township. She has two children in the 5th and 7th grades. Ma Khin attended school up to grade 5, and her husband...
25 May

IMAGINE…Villagers Self-financing Their Paths out of Poverty. The Power of the Community Loan Fund

What makes Shanta unique in the humanitarian and community development world? Our unique development model has three pillars of sustainability that ensure a permanent (yes, permanent!) solution to...
30 Apr

Leading to a Better Vision

A Leader Is Born! U Lee Tan is a forty-year-old husband, father of two, and a farmer from Shanta’s partner village, Chaung Kaut. In 2015, when the partnership began, he was elected by his fellow...
9 Mar

A Personal View from Inside Myanmar

Written by a staff member in Myanmar: Military regime in Myanmar lasted from 1962 to 2011 and resumed again in 1st February 2021. The military detained the recently elected leaders of the National...
3 Feb

Myanmar Political Upheaval

By now, you may have heard about the political upheaval that took place January 31, 2021 in Myanmar. Of note, the military has staged a coup and prevented those elected in the November 2020 elections...
8 Dec

Nocrumbsleft and Teri Turner Support Shanta

We're excited that Teri Turner, a hugely popular Instagram food blogger and author of the best-selling cookbook, No Crumbs Left: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous, is encouraging her Friday...
19 Nov

COVID-19 Alert

While our partner villages have not yet had any Covid-19 cases, the travel restrictions and drought have severely impacted their livelihoods. Villagers could not get their crops to the markets this...
21 Sep

2019 Impact Report

Click here to read our 2019 Impact Report We are eager to share the results of Shanta's hard work this year, in collaboration with Muditar and all of our village partners and you, because without...
4 Aug

Shanta’s Model Empowers Villages during COVID-19

“My three sons are students and I’m worrying how can I support them to keep study this year. And because of I lost big amount of money in last season, I need to reduce farming size.”- Maung...
9 Jun

Taking time to do it the right way – how COVID-19 is changing our work in Myanmar

A lot has changed since my last blog post, shared as the real scale of COVID-19’s impact on our lives was just beginning to come into focus in the US and Myanmar. By mid-April our partner...
20 Apr

Shanta’s Response to the Coronavirus in Myanmar

A message from Laurie Meininger, Shanta's Executive Director, about our response to the coronavirus in...
15 Apr

Better Together – Shanta & Village Aid Project

As a brand new Durangoan I was excited to get an invitation to speak with a class at Fort Lewis College back in February. Dr. Andy Young, Assistant Professor for Physics and Engineering and Village...
29 Mar

The future is still bright

We know the world is feeling upside down right now, and everyone is facing a lot of uncertainty and fear. It is time for us all to take care of ourselves and one another. Together we are stronger and...
13 Dec

Fireworks Spark a Bright Future

Bwar Kyi and her husband live in Aung Lei village. They are subsistence farmers working the small plot of land they live on to grow onions, garlic, and potatoes. The amount of money they make from...
6 Oct

2018 Annual Report

Click here to read our 2018 Annual Report. A Letter From the Board of Directors A very warm hello to our Shanta supporters! 2018 was an exciting year, filled with many opportunities for...
13 Aug

What Did You Do On Your Summer Vacation?

This question is heard echoing in classrooms across the US this week as children and youth go back to school after a long break. Students share stories of camps, traveling, and outdoor adventures...
18 Jun

Aung Than’s Story: Becoming an Entrepreneur

In rural Myanmar, most villagers rely on their small vegetable farms for their income. This meager livelihood is dependent on weather conditions, market prices, and their ability to transport crops...
1 May

Vibrant Village Foundation Visits Myanmar

Dana Delaski, Vibrant Village Foundation, reflects on her visit to our partner villages in the Shan State and Pauk Township earlier this year. In her thoughtful blog post, Dana shares four key...
23 Apr

Celebrate clean water!

It's Water Festival in Myanmar! Happy Thingyan from all of us at Shanta and Muditar! Enjoy this short video from Nge Nge and Maw Kin on how clean, safe water is changing lives in one rural...
7 Mar

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women's Day! Traditionally, women have been under represented in rural Myanmar. The men made the decisions for what they thought was best for the entire village. When...
17 Jan

Growing Dreams With Single Origin Coffee

Wai Ti, of Pin Mi Kone village, shows us her young coffee plant in her bamboo shade house. While her coffee bean harvest may be a few years away, this dedicated entrepreneur is excited to take a...
18 Sep

Donor Feature: Why Advisory Board members, Arthur Cohen and Elizabeth Karcher, invest in Shanta . . .

Thirteen years ago Elizabeth and I went to Myanmar and spent one day visiting remote villages that hadn’t progressed in hundreds of years. We were moved by the generosity, kindness and work ethic...
30 Aug

Back to school in Pone Tan village

For many students here in the United States, it’s time to go back to school. The first day of the school year is always a fresh start full of newness. New notebooks with pages that haven’t been...
25 Jul

2017 Annual Report

As we look back on last year, we feel proud of the capacity we have built within our organization and for the many lives we have touched in Myanmar. We hope you enjoy reading about all...
26 Jun

Cornish’s Insights from the Field: Than Taung Water Project with VAP

Our partner village of Than Taung is a picturesque village located in a lush valley literally, at the end of the road. A long, winding, narrow dirt road connects this tiny village to the closest...
9 May

Vitamin Angels Partner with Shanta to Help Pregnant Mothers and Children Soar

Poverty and lack of access to nutritious foods is a barrier to health in rural Myanmar. The cuisine in the villages centers around rice. Protein consumption here is scarce, maybe only a couple times...
25 Mar

Midwife Saves Lives in Ga Naing Nge West Village

Nang Pe’s Story My name is Nang Pe and I live in Ga Naing Nge West village. I have three children and my husband is Khun Lan. We grow cheroot leaves that we use to make cigars. When I was...
18 Dec

Pigs for Prosperity

Our visit to Chaung Kaut village was incredibly inspiring. Most families have turned their pig farms into significant businesses and using their additional income for improving their houses (metal...
28 Aug

Building Blocks for a Better Life

In 2011 when Shanta first partnered with Ta Khae village, Nang Pawe spent her days working in the fields growing only chili and cabbage for her family to eat.  Her family’s annual income was less...
12 Jul

Welcome to the Team, Seinne Lai

As Shanta grows in Myanmar, increasing both our number of staff and partner villages and preparing to expand into two new regions of the country, it was time to hire a Country Director to be in...
10 Jul

Healthier and Brighter Futures

Our yearly dental clinics really are life changing. In the region where Shanta works, it is not uncommon for adults to suffer significant tooth loss and painful gum infections. By the time they’re...
18 Jul

A Middle School in Khun Dong

In our partner village of Khun Dong, only one male has an education up to grade 11, and not one single female has an education beyond grade 4. Parents know the value of education, but have had to...
18 Jul

The Pa’O Women’s Group Finds Their Voice

In Naung Boat, Shanta has been challenged by a perceived lack of village interest in the partnership, specifically by women. We’ve struggled getting the minimum number of women on the Village...