GraceWorks Myanmar's (GWM) current livelihoods focus is linked to our water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program and, specifically, the manufacturing of bio-sand filters. We have supported the creation of local manufacturing by our community development education (CDE) facilitators in various locations in Northern Rakhine and Yangon. The bio-sand filters are made using locally available concrete, sand and gravel, and shaped using specially fabricated steel moulds.
Now that communities are aware of the benefits of having a bio-sand filter for clean drinking water, our focus is turning bio-sand filter manufacturing into an income-generating livelihood for CDE facilitators and local communities. In addition to improving their economic development, this will also support the sustainability of the overall community development program.
As our communities develop, future plans include introducing microfinance. This is a community-led priority resulting from repeated requests for investment to start small-scale businesses. Microfinance efforts will first focus on jobless people, and women in particular, to help create jobs and improve local economies.