When Kyaw Ye Aung joined a World Education project in 2014, he was quiet and isolated from the rest of his village. He spoke to no one and kept to himself, a result of living with a disability from a young age because of a landmine accident. Kyaw Ye Aung, a double amputee, said, “I never talked with other people because they always looked down on me. I was afraid to talk to people and stayed at home. I tried to work by repairing TVs and videos but I did not have enough tools and repairing was difficult.” With aspirations to become more financially independent and build the skills to open a successful TV repair shop, Kyaw Ye Aung joined 17 other landmine survivors for a three-day livelihoods training in Kayah State, Myanmar. During the training he met other survivors, gained skills in basic financial literacy and small business management, and learned about his rights under Myanmar law and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
Upon successful completion of the training, Kyaw Ye Aung received an in-kind grant to establish his repair shop. Since then, he has gone on to speak at a mine risk education event to 300 government officials, international organization staff, and local community members and shared his experiences as a survivor at an International Day of Persons with Disabilities advocacy event.
Most recently, Kyaw Ye Aung established the Metta Shin La Myar self-help group, which brings together a group of persons with disabilities to provide peer-to-peer support and generate income for village development projects that will benefit persons with disabilities living in the community. Kyaw Ye Aung says, “Without World Education, I would never have gotten all of these chances given to me.”
From working with individuals like Kyaw Ye Aung, to facilitating meetings with government and organization stakeholders at the state level, World Education takes a holistic approach in supporting landmine survivors and persons with disabilities in Myanmar.