Khin Mar Myint, a 42-year-old woman with a 6th grade education, lives in Aung Si Thar village in Pauk Township. Her family’s main business is farming ground nuts and chili, and she also owns a grocery store. Before her village established a partnership with Muditar, her daily life consisted of farming, selling items at the grocery store, and being a mother and housewife.
In 2020, Aung Si Thar village began a partnership with Muditar and Khin Mar Myint was selected as a member of the Village Development Team (VDT) by the villagers. She also participated in the Women’s Self-Help Savings Group (WSG) as a manager to hone her leadership and management skills. Despite having no prior experience participating in development activities or village leadership before her village’s partnership with Muditar, she became an active leadership member due to her good communication and interpersonal skills, as well as her middle school education.
“I’ve improved and am very confident to speak out in front of large groups, and I have bookkeeping skill that I’ve never been good at in the past,” Khin Mar Myint said proudly. Organizing and mobilizing the community to participate in village meetings and projects has become a tradition for me.” – Khin Mar Myint
Women are rarely involved in village leadership groups in the Pauk region. Khin Mar Myint saw an opportunity to change that through Muditar prioritized the inclusion of women on the VDTs, giving Khin Mar Myint the courage to offer her skills to the VDT. She did such a good job emphasizing transparency and inclusion that the villagers requested that she also serve as a committee leader for the Community Bank in the village (CB). She went on to coordinate a community meeting to mobilize villagers to participate in the CB.
By realizing her potential, Khin Mar Myint has evolved into a woman leader who is leading numerous village development activities, including managing the School Library and providing treatment to pigs as part of the Pig Management Team. The men on the VDT and men in the village now recognize and support her as a strong and active female leader. She is also setting an example for other women in Aung Si Thar who wish to participate in leadership.
“I know our village is poorer than surrounding villages, and I’ve always wanted to help it grow.” We are grateful to be collaborating with Muditar to carry out long-term development projects for the village. I pledge to maintain all existing projects and initiate new ones because we have all seen the positive changes, especially since we have the community bank, which will never disappear because it is the foundation of our village’s continued success.” – Khin Mar Myint
Written by Sally Shuffield, Development Manager