Archive | August, 2013

Mothers’ Union in Myanmar

30 Aug

Last week, I returned from a two week journey to the Far East that saw an amazing time of fellowship and working together with the Mothers’ Union in Myanmar, and then with the Mothers’ Union in Korea. In both places, Mothers’ Union are doing inspiring work, under some often challenging circumstances. Quietly getting on with their ministry, working incredibly hard and showing the ultimate dedication to their work; some of the  CDCs in Myanmar have been working for over 30 years and show no sign of stopping or slowing down any time soon. They are an inspiring and formidable group of highly organised and switched on thinkers who know exactly what they want to do and how to achieve that.

The structure of Mothers’ Union in Myanmar in particular is unique as they have kept the system of working through their Community Development Coordinators. In 6 dioceses, each has 2 CDCs, with one being field based and the other more office based. There are 2 Provincial level CDCs as well, that work with the Provincial Mothers’ Union staff as well as the Provincial staff in the Church of the Province of Myanmar. Mothers’ Union is one of four key pillars working withing the Church of the Province of Myanmar.

Each of the CDCs are individually very inspiring women, who are humbling to meet. They have an enormous capacity for a vast array of different skills; from encouraging better parenting skills, to training people in the Mothers’ Union Myanmar Micro-Credit programme and in some dioceses – even becoming part-mountaineer… In Mandalay and Myitkyina Dioceses they often have to walk through dense forest and mountains by foot for days to reach the villages where they work and at the most extreme this is a 40 day trek.

The one thing that really struck me though, was how isolated they feel sometimes. This seemed strange given their incredible passion for their work, and their energy to get things done. In spite of that, because of the conditions in which they operate they can feel cut off from the global Mothers’ Union family, and isolated in their work from the other Dioceses. Therefore it is more important than ever before that we stand with them, praying for them and their work and show them the love and encouragement that global Mothers’ Union family is so good at giving.

Mothers' Union Community Development Coordinators in Myanmar

In Myanmar we visited Toungoo and Mandalay dioceses, seeing all the work that happens there as well as spending wonderful time with all the CDCs together in Yangon. This is just the beginning of a new and stronger relationship between Mary Sumner House and Mothers’ Union in Myanmar, and the road ahead is an exciting and positive one that will see us learning a lot as we strengthen the global family of Mothers’ Union.