GWM launches livelihood micro-grants
Harsh daily life and extreme upheaval have become norms of injustice in Myanmar, with estimates that 1.5 million people are displaced, alongside destroyed homes, burned villages, widespread food insecurity and a growing death toll including children.
Reports received by GraceWorks Myanmar (GWM) last month say that life in some areas can seem disarmingly normal on the surface yet, below the surface, nothing could be further from the truth.
Even areas in the country that were once stable and peaceful are now caught in fighting.
The need for international support is greater than ever. In response, GWM is extending our emergency village care pack initiative and introducing a new livelihood micro-grant program.
GWM’s Chief Executive Officer, Peter Simmons, said a key motivator is knowing that the traditional microfinance sector in Myanmar is struggling in the short-term, making it harder for people to rebuild their livelihoods amid turmoil.
“The financial system has completely broken, making it extremely difficult for people to access the funds they need to begin the recovery process,” Peter said.
“The brutal reality is that, at a time when people most need lifelines, they are finding it harder than ever to secure them,” he said.
“People shouldn’t need to find new levels of resilience in the face of injustice and inequity but they do. Myanmar’s modern history is built on this resilience.
“Our new livelihood micro-grants are a way to provide critically needed support while the microfinance sector finds its feet again.
“We are committed to finding ways to help people at the most practical level and this is a natural extension of our emergency village care packs, helping people go beyond survival supplies to real recovery.”
Micro-grants will provide people in GWM’s community development village network with the ability to access the funds needed to meaningfully recover or reset their livelihoods.
Acknowledging that traditional microfinance has a reputation for outstanding repayment rates, GWM’s livelihood micro-grants are designed as seed funding for small, grassroots business owners, with no burden of repayment.
Alongside this new initiative, GWM’s team continues to support locally led community development and peacebuilding work, and our water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) work, focused on manufacturing bio-sand filters at a local level to provide clean drinking water to communities.
Emergency village care packs – tailored to need – also continue as funds are received.
The care packs and new livelihood micro-grants are all part of GWM’s Stand With Myanmar fundraiser. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible. To donate, please visit https://www.graceworksmyanmar.org.au/donate.