What we do
As a community development organisation, our focus is partnering with local organisations and individuals working in communities to help them achieve improvement and sustainability in their quality of life. Our purpose is:
Co-creating opportunities by (re)building capacity and partnering for (sustainable) long-term value to empower community-based development
We intentionally anchor everything we do in community development principles, focusing on four key areas of village-led peace and development, education, health and livelihoods. The majority of our projects and programs are currently based in Rakhine State, with additional work in Yangon Division. We have recently also supported and managed projects and programs in Mandalay Division, Chin State and Magway Division.
Community development is focused on grassroots, bottom-up, community-driven initiatives made possible by community leadership and action. It seeks to empower individuals and communities with the agency required to meet their basic human needs – analysing, planning and acting together to improve their living conditions and broader wellbeing and creating long-term value.
A process of empowerment is central to people identifying and addressing the complex problems they face due to entrenched disadvantage – achieved through an educative process whereby people trapped in poverty and oppression are helped to become aware of the nature of the issues they face, and the steps they can take to overcome them. Through this empowerment and capacity building, individuals and communities are better able to solve their own problems, primarily with resources they can access themselves, by developing new understanding and skills. Community development seeks to help individuals and communities take control of their own futures, identifying the assets and resources they have available, including via social capital networks, and using these to solve key problems and issues that challenge them.
For GraceWorks Myanmar (GWM), projects and programs are delivered via one of three approaches – with GWM as the implementing partner, as a collaborating partner or solely as a donor. This is underpinned by our development philosophy that sustainability demands local ownership. The work we support is always designed to consider its impact on all aspects of community development. We add value to those we serve, and avoid duplication with other non-government organisations (NGOs), through our differentiation as a professional NGO known for being a lean, specialist, grassroots connector.