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no. (881), Aung Zay Ti Street, Sub – Street (2)
10 miles, Inn Sein Township
Green Pastures is a social development project of FONDACIO Myanmar. The project is situated in a small village near Mandalay. The village is without electricity or water. The villagers generally work as subsistence farmers, or laborers in surrounding towns and villages.
The initial concept for this project the brainchild of Martin, a local Myanmar from a nearby town. Martin is a Fondacio member who cares passionately about his people, this community and particularly the children, whom he got to know through an internship spent in the village. His idea was to set up a goat-breeding social enterprise which would fund the education of the village children. And at the same time provide extra income for the families doing the goat breeding.
Five of the poorest families in the village were selected to breed goats, the income from selling the goats would be split between the families and the education project.
Working together with the village leaders, five families were selected to be part of the goat breeding and Martin supervised the building of pens for each family. He regularly monitors the goats and oversees the quarterly vaccinations necessary to keep the goats healthy. The goats have increased in number by 48 from an initial 75.
Martin set up regular daily classes for the village children and the children are enthusiastic about learning! They are beginning to experience success in state exams – unheard of previously, and to go on to higher education outside the village. The president of the village has stated that his dream for the village is that 50% of the children would go on to higher education”. This is a big dream for a village where prior to the start of the project none of the children passed any exams.
Martin & his wife, Victoria share the teaching. Victoria, a qualified primary school teacher, is also teaching the pre-school children who are often left to fend for themselves whilst their mothers work on the land.
Martin & Victoria maintain a close relationship with the village president, priest and village elders. They have used every opportunity to involve the community in decision-making and fostering their independence.
We are currently just over half way through this phase and now want to build on the enthusiasm and desire for change evident in everyone involved. In the next phase of the project we want to provide more income generation opportunities and upskill not just the children but also their parents. We want to train the villagers in brick-making and construction and build a learning centre for adults and children alike.