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FLOWER POWER IN MYANMAR

A woman in rural Myanmar leads her family to prosperity with the help of StarKids and World Vision.

Outside Yangon in rural Myanmar, 36-year-old Thin Thin Mar manages a flower farm on a hectare of land. Like many women, she juggles multiple responsibilities, hoping to build a better life for her five children, three of whom she adopted from her sister who is unable to care for them. Before they were married, Thin Thin’s husband used the land for his vegetable business but the income was unstable due to fluctuating prices. “We decided to grow flowers because that market is more stable,” says Thin Thin.

Despite changing their plan, the business failed to blossom – until Thin Thin learnt about World Vision’s program to provide business loans to women. In September 2017 she invested her first loan of US$400 in better quality fertilisers and insecticides. After a lot of hard work and timely financial assistance from World Vision, Thin Thin’s flower farm is finally in full bloom. The rapid expansion is leading her to consider hiring labourers to work on the farm so they can continue to grow the business.

Now her family is thriving financially and their lives have dramatically improved. With the stable and substantial income, they plan to build a safer and more secure house equipped with a borehole well to provide clean water and a generator for electricity. “I will keep growing the business so my children are able to fulfil their desires and are able to do whatever they want,” says Thin Thin, whose daughter hopes to be a teacher one day. Thin Thin’s entrepreneurial skills are also growing. She is the leader of her community’s savings group – also facilitated by World Vision – and teaches other women how to save money and invest in their futures.

Through StarKids and World Vision, women like Thin Thin are being encouraged to lead the way for women’s empowerment and are having a positive impact on their families and communities.