Cablegate: Wif Grant Proposal for Women,S Empowerment In

DE RUEHGO #1117/01 3230802
O 190802Z NOV 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 136319

1. Embassy Rangoon recommends the following project for
EAP/RSP Regional Women's Issues Fund Small Grants Program
(SG) for Locally-based Organizations:

A. Identifying Information:

a) Name of project: Strengthening Women Capacity Empowerment
in Kachin State: Approaches Through Vocational Development

b) Total budget requested: $24,250

c) Duration: 36 months

d) Name of organization: Mingalar Community Development
Cooperation (MCDC), Myitkyina, Burma

e) Organization Director:
Mr. Lahkang Naw Aung, MCDC Coordinator
DOB: July 17, 1965
Place of Birth: Dukahtawng village, Myitkyina, Kachin State,

f) Organization Contact: Mr. Lahkang Naw Aung, MCDC

g) Address: No 81 Yangyi Aung Quarter
Myitkyina, Kachin State, Burma

h) Telephone: 95-074-25327 (C/O Thu Kha Ming Tsa Pe)

i) Email:

j) Organization History/Achievements:
MCDC, which was formed on October 10, 2006, is a
non-governmental organization with a focus on community
development. MCDC is helping the poor, orphans, disadvantaged
women, and widows improve their livelihood development. The
organization participates in improving the lives of those
living in rural communities in Kachin State and also promotes
environmentally sustainable rural development.

Between October 2006-October 2007, MCDC held training
seminars on the following topics: community forest, agro
forestry, ecology and watershed development, participatory
rural appraisal training, women empowerment training,
planning and management training, data collection research
training for HIV/AIDS. The team also helped to strengthen
the capacity of 11 micro-credit unions in two townships in
Kachin State. After providing micro-credit training in these
two townships, local villagers mobilized their own resources
to establish micro-credit unions, which loan money to
villagers at low interest rates.

k) MCDC has not received USG funding to date.

B. Project Overview and Justification:

2. The Kachin people, one of Burma's seven major ethnic
minorities, living in Kachin State have undergone over three
decades of civil unrest from 1960-1994. The civil unrest
left the region underdeveloped, and the many of the Kachin
people live in poverty, with inadequate food supplies and no
access to clean drinking water. Many rural children have no
access to basic education and health care, as their parents
cannot afford the high costs. The majority of parents, who
have no vocational skills, are employed in the agricultural
sector, practicing slash and burn cultivation. However, they
do not earn enough from these livelihood activities to cover
their basic needs.

In the fifty villages in Myitkyina and the thirty villages in
the Waimaw area, women between 12-40 years of age comprise 25
percent of the population. Only about 5 percent of these
women have learned to read and write; the remaining 20
percent are unschooled, unskilled, and often illiterate. In
order to earn a living, many housewives peddle wares in the
gold mines, jade mines, and logging areas, leaving their
children behind. They often contract malaria and other
diseases, becoming a financial burden on their families.
Children, particularly young girls, find it difficult to
escape this cycle of poverty. To earn money, some families

RANGOON 00001117 002 OF 004

send their daughters to sell products in the mining areas,
unaware of the dangers. Many young girls become prey to
traffickers and are forced into prostitution, as well as
forced marriages to Chinese men across the border.
Consequently, many young girls contract HIV/AIDS and other
sexually transmitted infections.

3. MCDC would like to improve the living conditions for
housewives and young girls by offering a women capacity
empowerment program, focusing on vocational training. Women
and young girls would learn skills such as tailoring/dress
making and hair cutting. Additionally, MCDC plans to
establish a revolving fund to provide women with capital to
develop small businesses.

4. Over a three year period, this project would help to
empower and enhance the status of approximately 300
unemployed, unskilled young girls and housewives.
Participants will include refugees, uneducated women,
unemployed women ages 15 and older, and housewives and young
girls who are vulnerable to trafficking. This project
targets those women who are interested in vocational
educational training for tailoring, hair cutting, and
micro-income generation. The participants will be from the
remote villages of Myitkyina and Waimaw Townships in Kachin

C. Project Goals/Objectives/Implementation Plan:
--------------------------------------------- ---

7. Project Goals:

--To strengthen capacity building and empower poor and
disadvantaged young girls and housewives through skills
training and community-based development.
--To improve living conditions for young girls and women by
providing them with vocational skills they can use to support
--To ensure employment, sufficient income, and support for
children's education.

8. Project Objectives:

--By the end of year three, approximately 240 of the
unemployed, unskilled young girls and housewives (80 percent)
in the remote villages of Myitkyina and Waimaw Townships will
have acquired:
--improved vocational skills, capacity and technical
knowledge in tailoring and dress making;
--skill and professional knowledge in hair cutting; and
--skill and knowledge in cooking food and food
--Approximately 180 trained young girls and housewives (60
percent) will have stable employment with secure income.
--Approximately 30 trained women will receive support from
the revolving fund to establish their own dress making shops
and hair beauty salons. They will become independent

9. Implementation Plan:

Activity 1: Advocacy and awareness for participation.
The project committee will organize and conduct two-day
awareness seminar workshops with community members and
religious leaders to discuss the concept of women's economic
empowerment and development. Materials on the topic in both
Burmese and Kachin will be disseminated among the community.
The Committee will announce when the skill workshops will be

Activity 2: Tailoring Training and Hair Cutting Training.
Each year, MCDC will hold three training sessions, which will
last for three month periods. MCDC plans to train 90 women
annually; 30 women, 20 from Myitkyina and 10 from Waimaw
area, will attend the training sessions.

Women will be divided into beginner and advanced classes for
both the tailoring and hair cutting seminars. Those with
more advanced skills will work as apprentices in the shop.

Activity 3: Provision of a Revolving Fund.
MCDC will use the revolving fun to provide several women with
money to start small businesses. MCDC will provide two-year
loans to women interested in opening a tailoring shop. The
small businesses will be monitored by an MCDC team comprised
of the manager and three committee members.

RANGOON 00001117 003 OF 004

Activity 4: Provide employment opportunities for some
trainees at the center.
MCDC plans to hire up to five trainees a year to work at the
center. These trainees will be assistant teachers, and will
receive additional training to improve their handiwork

Activity 5: Conduct the committee meeting and project
The Project Committee will meet twice a month to discuss the
progress of the training seminars. The committee will have
the responsibility to plan and manage all of the activities
of the training center. The treasurer and accountant will
handle the projects financial management. There will be five
full-time staff: one manager, three trainers, and a clerk.

D. Measuring Effectiveness:

10. The project will enable the women to improve their
standard of living by providing them with vocational skills
and means of earning a living.

MCDC will review the work and activities throughout the term
of the grant, and will make suggestions for improvement based
on the results of their monitoring.

D. Budget:

--------------------------------------------- -------
Strengthening Women's Capacity Empowerment Project
Values in Kyat
--------------------------------------------- -------
Purpose Local Requested
Contribution Amount
--------------------------------------------- -------
-Advocacy Awareness 30,000 100,000
-Tailoring Training 9,895,000

-Includes materials and
equipment (sewing and
hemming machines)
-Hair Cutting Training 3,500,000
-Includes tools and
-Revolving Fund 1,600,000
-Women Education and 1,750,000
Development training
-Classroom and office 60,000 1,195,000
-Equipment 450,000
-Logistics/Maintenance 500,000 745,000
-Meeting and Workshops 200,000 400,000
-Monitoring/Evaluation 500,000
-Capacity Building for 300,000
-Misc. 100,000 500,000
-Admin and Coordination 500,000 5,740,000
--------------------------------------------- -----
Total 1,390,000 26,675,000
--------------------------------------------- -----

Total Projected Budget: 28,065,000 kyat or USD 25,513
Total Requested Amount: 26,675,000 kyat or USD 24,250

11. A more detailed budget was sent via email to EAP/RSP on
November 15. Embassy Rangoon has some reservations about the
above budget, and requested MCDC to provide us with
additional details about what equipment/tools MCDC will
purchase with the funding. We will forward additional
information to EAP/RSP via email.

E. Resumes:

Mr. Lahkang Naw Aung
81 Yangyi Aung Quarter
Myitkyina, Kachin State, Burma
Telephone: 95-74-25327

Date of Birth: July 17, 1965
Place of Birth: Dukahtawng village, Myitkyina, Kachin State,

RANGOON 00001117 004 OF 004

Work Experience:

1990-2007 Freelance Community Development Worker while acting
as Volunteer Coordinator for an HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse
Prevention Program, Youth Department, Kachin Baptist

--During the past seventeen years, Lahkang Naw Aung worked on
early childhood development issues, community development in
Kachin State, and HIV/AIDS and drug abuse prevention. As an
employee of the Kachin Baptist Convention, he coordinated and
supervised over 50 village/community based development
programs in Kachin and Shan States from 1993-2004. In
2006-2007, he conducted a baseline survey for data
collection, situation analysis, and planning for the HIV/AIDS
and Drug Abuse Prevention Program. He also conducted an
external evaluation of KBC's development program in 35

--Currently, he is working with the Kachin Baptist Convention
on their multi-sectoral development project plan and farmer
field school project plan.

1985-1991 Primary School Teacher, Dukahtawng village,

Lahkang Naw Aung has a good command of English. He has
computer skills, and is proficient in Microsoft Word,
Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Statistical
Package for Social Science (SPSS).

12. The Embassy does not have a relationship with MCDC, and
is still conducting due diligence on the organization. MCDC
also recently applied for a small grant from the Australians.
The Australian Embassy contacted several NGOS working in
Kachin State that it has worked with in past, including World
Concern, Kachin Veterans Committee, and Metta Foundation, to
find out more about MCDC. All three NGOs informed the
Australian Embassy that MCDC was a new organization that has
good ideas. The Australians are considering funding MCDC.


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