Our partners in Myanmar are the Anglican Church of the Province of Myanmar and the Mothers’ Union Myanmar.

Refugee camps in Thailand received an influx of Burmese refugees in the 1980s. These were people fleeing the armed conflict and persecution by the military in Myanmar. 

More than 100,000 refugees live in the camps. Some have lived there for 30 years, and many have been born in the camps, knowing no other life. Almost 80 per cent of the refugees are of the Karen people group from Myanmar, and have had little opportunity for employment or education. The Thai government is taking steps to dismantle these camps and relocate the refugees, many back to Myanmar.  

Decades under military rule has made life difficult for Myanmar’s population, including for the refugees who fled into Thailand. The newly democratic country has ended more than fifty years of militaristic rule, and the ability and the impact of transformation in communities by contributing to the economic development through provision of micro-entrepreneurial skills to newly repatriated refugees is vital.

Empowerment for Refugees

The Anglican Church of the Diocese of the Province of Myanmar is committed to working with 200 refugee families, and has invited Five Talents to provide the training curriculum and program as part of their repatriation. The goal of the project is to empower and provide micro-entrepreneurial training for these repatriated refugee families, impacting at least 1,000 people, by 2019.

The project also involves developing community-based savings and loan groups for the repatriated refugees from Thailand to Hpa-An in Myanmar. It also involves repatriation of the refugees to new communities and includes literacy and financial training, as many of the participants will have had little access to education.

SHE-Smith Vocational Training

This project works with women who have come out of situations of domestic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking. 

The organisation we are working with on this project, Akhaya, had to face that there were no female master smiths in Myanmar to produce fine jewelry. As a result, opened the SHE-Smith Training Workshop with a few women trainees.

As a social enterprise, has sought grant funding until a break-even point is met from 2021. Anglican Overseas Aid has provided grant funding to Akhaya to enable it to train women.

SHE-Smith Jewelry is now popular among foreign experts living in Myanmar, ethical tourists as well as in the USA, Australia, the UK and Canada.

Funding: Both of these projects are funded by donations from the Australian public.