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Through simple means, the Mara people can grow more crops than previously and avoid hunger and debt. Photo: Mai Ki
A new Mission East project trains the poverty-stricken Mara people in cultivating crops all year round. It will provide children and adults with better nutrition. By Line Højland, Communications Officer – June 2018 Pawtlei and her old mother struggle to keep hunger at bay. They belong to the isolated Christian Mara people in Myanmar's Chin State, one of the least developed areas of the country. "Until now, my slash-and-burn farming can hardly secure food for three months per year. For nine months I must ask my brothers and relatives for help in some way," says the 56-year-old woman who lives...
Thadak Hlaing comes from a poor background in Maraland. That doesn’t stop her from wanting to pass the coveted national exam. Photo: Alex Ramos-Peña
Thadak Hlaing’s dream is to pass her exam and do charity work for the benefit of her people. At the COME school she gets help with the difficult exams. By Alex Ramos-Peña, HQ Programme Manager and Line Højland, Communications Officer – June 2018 Thadak Hlaing comes from a small village in western Myanmar. The 18-year-old woman belongs to the Mara people who lead an isolated existence in forest-covered mountains. Like most families in the area, Thadak's parents face a daily struggle to feed their eight children. Their small farm cannot provide the family with food all year long. Despite the...
Mai Ki benefits from her partnership with Mission East. Here, she is participating in a training programme with a colleague. Photo: Mission East
Mai Ki and her colleagues from the local organisation Together for Sustainable Development are working to eradicate food shortages among their vulnerable fellow countrymen and -women in Myanmar. Cooperation with Mission East has taught them to work more efficiently. By Kim Wiesener, Communication Manager, September 2017 When Mai Ki needs to attend an important meeting in Myanmar’s largest and most important city, Yangon, she hires a motorcycle taxi in her home village of Lailenpi in the remote Chin State. With a bit of luck, she can reach the next stop on her route in one day, otherwise she...
Vangohkhih is in 6th grade and views the COME school as a mother and father for orphans.
Education is important. But it is equally important to eat enough food to grow, thrive, and study.. At the COME school in Burma, the children of the Mara people get education as well as food thanks to the aid from Mission East. Here are three accounts on the daily life in Maraland, Chin State, before and after COME school. ”A mother and father for the orphans” ”My name is Vangohkhih, and I come from the the village Sabawngte. It takes two days to travel from my village to the COME school in Lailenpi, and it is a very hard journey. I began attending this school after second grade. Since my...
The floodwaters have washed away bridges, so that the people must carry their things on their back while crossing the rivers. Photo: SDD.
The worst floods in decades have hit Burma. "Food is the biggest problem," says Mission East’s partner in one of the affected areas. 12 days of constant rain and storms in July and August have caused widespread destruction in Chin State in western Burma. The severe weather is caused by the cyclone Komen, which has raged throughout Southeast Asia this summer, and the situation is still chaotic. Roads and Bridges Gone "We have only received limited information from the villages. Because of blocked roads and continuous rain, we cannot travel from one village to another," says Mai Ki from Mission...
Knowledge is a Way out of Poverty
Burmese women started to cooperate on selling chilli peppers after receiving training from Mission East. Better knowledge means more profits, and that brings people out of poverty. Imagine that you have never had a bank account. Banknotes are something you only see when you travel - to India, to sell your home-grown chillies and buy rice. If you need anything else, you exchange your crops for it, or manage to do without it.  An Eye-opener Such is life for the people of the impoverished Chin State in Burma. But with training from Mission East, the poor villagers receive important knowledge,...
Little Girl Walked for two Days through the Mountains
Mary Nuso’s desire to study was so deep that she as an eight-year-old embarked on a two-day journey, to reach the COME school. Now she is one of the Mara people’s hopes for the future. Fetching water, gathering firewood, cleaning, cooking. The life of a little girl in Chin State in Burma consists of hard work and not enough food to fill the stomach. The life of Mary Nuso, the youngest of eight siblings, was no exception, right up until she decided to change her life. Walked for Two Days "Mary Nuso really wanted to study at the COME school, but her parents said no, because they needed her to...
The Mara people struggle with poverty and isolation in the rugged mountain region of northwest Burma. Until the visit of Mission East field workers in February 2013, only two other Europeans had visited this area since 1938! Read more here

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