Nay Linn was 21 years old when he was forced to flee for his life as conflict erupted near his village between armed groups and the Myanmar military. Escaping by foot toward the Thailand-Myanmar border Nay Linn stepped on a landmine losing both of his legs from the waist down. 15 years later Nay Linn has since returned to Kayah State, married, and had a son, however the challenges of being a landmine survivor and amputee remain. Nay Linn refused to speak to anyone in his village and struggled to find work to support his family. As a result, Nay Linn felt depressed and isolated as well as lacked the motivation to properly take care of himself and his home. Through local partners, World Education was able to connect with Nay Linn and invite him to join a livelihoods training in Loikaw.
Over the course of three days Nay Linn learned new skills in basic financial literacy, small business management, budgeting, and saving for emergencies. The training also connected Nay Linn with other landmine survivors in his community to help him build peer support networks and learn more about his rights as a landmine survivor and a person with a disability living in Myanmar. At the conclusion of the training, Nay Linn was provided an in-kind grant of two pigs to generate income for his family and fund his small business endeavors. During a follow-up visit to Nay Linn’s house, he was eager to share with World Education staff that pig breeding was going well.
One pig produced multiple piglets, while the sale of another pig allowed Nay Linn to make much needed repairs to his home including making the path between his home and street more accessible, especially during rainy season. He actively participates in taking care of the animals and his home and is proud of the financial contribution he can now make to his family. Nay Linn has also been eager to share his experiences with his neighbors who have been impacted by disability and landmines, sharing information on disability rights and encouraging his peers to connect with World Education for further support.
Support provided by World Education is not only important to the landmine survivors but also to their families. Although Nay Linn’s wife continues to work, she no longer needs to work to the extent she did prior to receiving the in-kind grant. She finds peace in knowing that Nay Linn is doing something productive with his day and is happier for it. Raising pigs has brought the family closer together as everyone pitches in and according to Nay Linn’s wife, they feel as if their dreams are finally coming true.