Grapes for Humanity and World Education bring economic opportunity to a remote landmine survivor in Myanmar

Myint Myint
Myint Myint at her home in Sharthaw Township,
Kayah State

Decades of conflict in Myanmar have taken its toll on much of the country and its civilians. One of those civilians is 30- year-old Myint Myint San of Kayah State. Myint Myint San was a teacher, living and working in a township caught in the middle of fighting between non-state armed groups and the government military. As a result of this armed conflict, roads were impassable and the township almost inaccessible. In March 2008, Myint Myint San was preparing to attend a teaching conference in Loikaw and was dependent on a Myanmar government military officer for transportation. On her way to the conference, the officer’s car was stopped at the entrance of the township, where a non-state armed group detonated a landmine killing the military officer and severely injuring Myint Myint San from the waist down. As a result of her injuries, Myint Myint San could no longer teach or walk and spent many of her days confined to a bed. Although Myint Myint San’s parents have played an important role in her recovery and daily care, they refused to let her help around the house. Despite receiving a wheel chair this past year, Myint Myint San still struggled with feelings of sadness and no longer wanted to meet new people or talk to others.

As the conflict has come to an end, the roads to Myint Myint San’s township are more accessible allowing World Education to provide services to landmine survivors in the area. Through the contribution of the Grapes for Humanity Global Foundation, World Education was able to provide Myint Myint San and her family materials to start a small business. The family decided on animal husbandry and received three pigs. World Education is also serving as an advocate for Myint Myint San in helping her parents to see that she is capable and willing to help. During a follow-up visit, World Education staff observed that Myint Myint San was now helping around the house, preparing food for the pigs, and serving as a tutor for her niece and nephew who are enrolled in primary school.