Daw Khin Nuand and her husband struggled to support their family in Ah Shey Ka Paing Village in Myanmar despite working two jobs. Daw Khin ran a small snack shop, while her husband worked as a day laborer. Sometimes her snacks were in high demand, but often many remained at closing time, causing her to lose money. Their teenage daughter had to work in a village grocery shop to supplement the family income. Yet, without steady, secure income, they struggled to make ends meet, averaging only $0.80 per day for the family.
With no other option, Daw Khin borrowed money from a local loan shark, accumulating $100 in debt. High interest charges cut into her already unsteady income creating a daily struggle to make ends meet.
In 2013, Pact introduced WORTH, a women-led savings and loan program, in Daw Khin’s village. Through the program’s business trainings, Daw Khin enhanced her business and finance skills and learned ways to improve her business. She borrowed $160 from the group to expand her business, storing some stable groceries such as onions to sell when prices were better. Through WORTH, Daw Khin was able to repay all of her debts and create a more profitable business.
Today, Daw Khin’s family income has risen two-fold after only one year and her daughter does not need to work outside the home.
“With steady and larger income, you feel secure, and more confident,” says Daw Khin. “I can look into the future with confidence. Where we are now is a far cry from what we had been just over a year ago.”
We are working to help more Burmese women like Daw Khin look to their futures with confidence. In September, Pact, Chevron and The Coca-Cola Company and Foundation announced a $7 million Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to empower 66,800 women in six regions across Myanmar through financial inclusion, health and mobile technology support. The commitment builds on two existing highly successful projects between Pact and its partners to improve the lives of thousands of women, their families and communities in Myanmar.