From 13th to 15th December 2017, the KT Care Foundation team ended the year with a capacity building and team retreat workshop. The workshop focused on understanding and mutual learning of the responsibilities/challenges of each staff member with additional capacity building and knowledge sharing sessions. Some of the specific topics delivered by the team members were: staff roles/responsibilities and necessary alignments by Deputy Director, principles of accountability by Field Officer, informative and comprehensive report preparation by Deputy Director with Program Officer, inclusive communications skills by Program Manager and Communications Officer, requirements of basic financial statements by Admin/Finance Officer and lessons learned working experiences by Program Assistant.
The provision of full-scholarship (monthly) grant for two students attending the professional university started from December 2017. Ma Su Myat Mon from Haing Gyi Kyun Township attending the 2nd year Medical Technology Degree in Yangon and Mg Zan Wint Naing studying for a medical degree in the University of Medicine (2), Yangon are the two final candidates who have been selected to receive the KT Care Foundation full-scholarship for their whole academic years. The main criteria for selecting these students were their significant financial need, social vulnerability, and their outstanding educational achievement.
KT Care has increased its support from 25 to 50 scholarship students in Ngapudaw Township from 2017. On 25 July, the KT Care team met with Ohn Chaung school headmaster to present the scholarship project and the computer training center project.
KT Care met with TEO (Township Education Officer) and made the project advocacy meeting at Ngapudaw Township Education Department. In this meeting, KT Care made a presentation to all headmasters about the overview of the scholarship project application process and selection criteria. The applications call from 31st July and the dead line will be the end of August.
On 31st October, the scholarship award ceremony was conducted in Pathein Hotel, Pathein Township. In this ceremony, KT Care Foundation provided scholarship awards to 34 distance learning students and 2 professional students for academic year 2017/18.
KT Care Foundation began to initiate the Computer Training Project in Thet Kel Thaung Village, Ngapudaw Township, Ayeyarwady Region with the basic objective of improving basic computer literacy among the local students and youths which in turn enabled them to greater advantage in their future studies and employment opportunities.
The land space for the training building was contributed by the village community according to the concept of people-centered project approach. One round of the training curriculum will take two months to complete and the first-round of the training course began on 17th December 2017. In the future, the training sessions are planned to open on weekends for the convenience of school children.
Mg Myo Aung Thu, a 1st-year Geography student, attending the computer course at KT Care computer center said, “Nowadays it is essential to know computer literacy for numerous reasons but many people in our village are not familiar with it. Now, we have a chance to attend computer training right here in our village and I want to grasp the opportunity because I am looking for a job while doing my distance university study. I hope to get a good job when I familiar with the use of the computer and have IT knowledge”
Chit Pyae Hmuu, a 4th-year English major student, lives in 2nd ward of Thet Kel Thaung Village. Currently, she is attending the computer training at KT Care’s Computer Training Center. She said, “I am very interested in computer literacy. Once I become familiar with the basics of computer literacy, then job seeking will be much easier. I came to know about the training from my neighborhood. I am very delighted to get a chance to attend this kind of computer training and I will continue learning computer literacy. Thank you so much!”
The Trainer and the Assistant Trainer for the newly launched Computer Training Project at Thet Kal Thaung village, Ngapudaw Township, Ayeyarwady Region were recruited at the start of September 2017. For the purpose of local capacity strengthening and the project sustainability, the residents of Thet Kal Thaung village were encouraged to apply for the vacancies selected for the recruitment. Currently, both the Trainer and the Assistant Trainer are attending the TOT training at Yangon and once after the TOT class is completed, the two trainers will start conducting the series of computer trainings in their native village, Thet Kal Thaung.
The Trainer, Ma Yu Maw Soe is one of the alumni of KT Care Foundation scholarship program and Mg Min Thant Ko, Assistant Trainer has been one of the KT Care volunteers during the execution of health related activities in Thet Kal Thaung village. We warmly welcome them to the KT Care team!
Mg Myint Maung Maung, from Pyin Ma Gone Village, Danu Phyu Township, Ayeyarwady Region, is a 15-year-old boy with congenital cleft lips/palate. He is studying at Basic Education Grade (2) but due to his condition, he couldn‘t speak clearly and follow the lessons well. In addition, he experienced serious difficulties in his everyday life such as having meals and drinking water.
Though his parents wanted to let their son undergo re-constructive operation, the financial constraints made it impossible for them to consider the necessary surgical procedures and follow-up treatments. As a family of seasonal agricultural workers, Mg Myint Maung Maung also needs to work along with his parents in harvesting rice and bean.
Once the family learned about KT Care Foundation‘s support for cleft operations they were very excited and keen to gain the KT Care support for the treatment of their son. During the course of his operation, KT Care Foundation supported all the medical and logistic expenditures including foods, medicines, travel, accommodation and other relevant costs for the patient and his attendant as well. The operation was successfully completed by the experienced surgical team at Pin Lon Hospital and Mg Myint Maung Maung’s mother said, “I expected my son to be the same look as others. Now, as his deformity is corrected, I am very delighted and great thanks to the founder and his family of KT Care Foundation and its staff for their invaluable support and donations.”
Along with the emerging economy, many international garment corporations have moved their production to Myanmar mainly because of low-priced wages and favorable trading conditions. In a Myanmar garment industry, many of the garment factory workers come from the underserved countryside to the city peripherals to find job, residing with no electricity and clean running water supply. Additionally, many factory workers lack knowledge of healthy behaviors and practices of physical well-being. Financial insecurity compounded by low educational status influences the negative attitude towards the healthcare behaviors.
KT Care Foundation takes action on this issue along with its partner institution Business Social Responsibility (BSR) Organization. In March 2017, KT Care Foundation started organizing maternal, reproductive health and hygiene awareness raising trainings, campaigns and discussion sessions at the Mila Garden Factory located at Hlegu Township. According to the Health Needs Assessment (HNA), the priority health education subjects were identified and so far “Personal Hygiene” and “Healthy Diet, Nutritious Foods” topics have been delivered to the representative peer facilitators of the factory through four educational trainings including two inceptives courses and two refresher sessions.
One of the female factory workers; Ma Thae Thae Mon stated that she did not know the main causes of diarrhea associated communicable diseases beforehand but now she knows clearly the connection between personal hygiene and diarrheal diseases as well as the preventive measures upon completion of the KT Care trainings.
Many of the reproductive aged women working in the factory have very limited knowledge of maternal and reproductive health including antenatal, natal and post natal care. The trainings and follow-up awareness raising sessions organized by KT Care Foundation along with its trained peer facilitators will enable the uninformed female factory workers to gain knowledge on women‘s health and pregnancy care.
Ma Myat Su Mon; is one of the KT Care trained peer facilitators and she used to conduct 10 minutes participatory peer education session on “personal hygiene and negative consequences of inappropriate hygiene behaviors” for her workmates during their work break. She highlighted that sharing the important knowledge and experience with her coworkers is her blessing and she is very delighted to be a peer facilitator and receive the trainings from KT Care Foundation.
KT Care Foundation is one of the pioneer organizations providing the healthcare integrated awareness raising services to the garment factory workers of Myanmar. The foundation is proceeding to extend its activities in many other garment factories as the current efforts at the Mila Garden Factory are highly effective for the factory workers with limited resources of healthcare, education and income.
Ma Zin Mar Khine, 26 years old woman, from her birth she has difficulties in eating foods due to a cleft lips and palate. She is pale and slim due to malnutrition. Her only employment opportunity was as a hawker but she could not call out so that impaired her ability to sell. Her mother enrolled her on the list for treatment of cleft palate through KT Care as suggested by another mother whose son had received treatment for cleft lips. When she arrived in Yangon, KT Care informed her about the treatment. She feels happy to think about healing her body and living a full life since the surgery which she received on 14th July, she is now working in the Shwe Lin Ban Sewing Factory.
KT Care Foundation’s HER Project is implementing in two new factories: Hang Kei and Nexstar in Hlaing Thar Yar Township. In Nexstar and Hang Kei Garment Factory, line supervisor orientation meeting was conducted on 14th and 22nd September respectively. 16 participants from Nexstar and 32 line supervisors from the Hang Kei Factory joined the line supervisor orientation meeting. The meeting agenda provided an overview of HER Health Project and its activities, roles and responsibilities of the factory management including line supervisors and the preparatory tasks for the upcoming project events. The questions raised by the line supervisors were addressed and the meeting successfully concluded after the wrap-up session.
KT Care performed health needs assessments at Hang Kei on 26th October and Nexstar on 27th October 2017. In Hang Kei, 135 staff were interviewed for assessment and in Nexstar, 70 staff were interviewed including workers, management level staff and factory clinic personnel from both factories.