In Myanmar, women pay it forward

March 3, 2015
Members of Mon Myat Thu, a charity group formed by WORTH members.

When women do better, entire communities do better.

That’s how Pact interprets this year’s theme for International Women’s DayEmpowering Women, Empowering Humanity.

It’s also why Pact believes so strongly in WORTH, an award-winning program that we’ve implemented in 14 countries. WORTH brings together women and older girls in small groups to learn how to save money and start small businesses. They use those savings to make loans to fellow members. With credit and interest earnings, they grow their businesses and launch new ones.

They lift themselves and each other out of poverty.

Then, in the best cases, they keep going.

In Ingel, a village in central Myanmar, WORTH members from the Swan Yi project, a partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation, are paying their success forward.

Two years ago, in February 2013, Pact helped start two new WORTH groups in Ingel. They began saving and lending, paying out interest in the form of dividends at the end of each banking cycle.

Soon, they decided to begin donating a small portion of the interest to social and religious events meant to build their community.

In November 2013, they decided to go a step further. They launched a charity, called Mon Myat Thu.

Their biggest accomplishment so far? They recently bought an ambulance, which they’re using to provide free service to people in need, both in Ingel and nearby villages. Besides funding the ambulance and its maintenance, WORTH members are donating their time as attendants who care for patients during transport.

Best of all, their work has inspired others in Ingel to volunteer and contribute.

On this International Women’s Day, Pact congratulates Ingel’s WORTH members – and WORTH members around the globe.

In September 2014, 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, building on successful projects like Swan Yi that are improving the lives of thousands of women, their families and communities in Myanmar.

Because we believe that when women do better, we all do better.