The Power of Advocacy

I Din village in Northern central Rakhine, a 2-hour drive from the state capital Sittwe, is one of many villages struggling with poor infrastructure, especially during rainy season.  This has a hampering effect on trade and business, access to health care, and children’s education.

external village roadways

External village roadways

But for I Din village, this struggle is now over. Through advocacy training and the initiation of road building by CDE, the villagers have obtained the skills and confidence required to approach the local government for financial support.  This process has been facilitated by a young, female CDE facilitator, and it has resulted in the government providing rocks and other materials to build proper roads in the entire village.  The government was impressed with the development happening in the village, and therefore willing to support further development projects.

internal village roadways

Internal village roadways

From now on, one in every 10 families will have a child graduating from high school, and people (university students and workers) are able to travel all the way to Sittwe by motorbike.  Further, the new roads will make it possible to transport produce and fish to markets outside of the village, which will eventually have a positive impact on the local economy.  The community previously felt that they didn’t have any voice or confidence, so they didn’t ask the government for anything.  After advocacy training and community-based project planning and implementation, the villagers have changed their mindsets and are no longer hesitant or scared to approach the local authorities for financial support.

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