Titelbild Myanmar-Shan State - Kinder vor Wassertank

Myanmar (Burma): A perspective for refugees in Shan State


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For almost 50 years a military dictatorship and civil wars prevented any progress in Myanmar. However, in the country, where 135 different ethnic groups live, progress starts to pick up again, but still there are over and over again armed conflicts between the army and ethnic minorities. Among others extremely competitive regions it is also the Shan State in the North of the country, where clashes between the government troops and the Kachin Independence Organization are the order of the day.
Myanmar (Burma)
Simple World Map - Author: Al MacDonald Editor: Fritz Lekschas License: CC BY-SA 3.0 ID: ISO 3166-1 or "_[a-zA-Z]" if an ISO code is not available

For the local people, the violent riots are an existential danger that drives them to flee. They have to leave their devastated homes and destroyed property. Outside the disputed zones temporary settlements for the refugees arose, however, they are not well-equipped and do not have adequate infrastructure. Other refugees are accommodated in villages, which are not affected by the clashes. Also there is now a great need for aid to ensure that the growing population has enough for a living.

For 1,700 families in 20 municipalities of Kutkai townships arche noVa improves the precarious situation with concrete support and the strengthening of the self-help capacities. In this sense, all interest groups are involved in the planning stage - the beneficiaries, the host communities and the local authorities. Between them arise cooperations so the emerged project structures remain for longer periods and may continue to evolve. In all areas the project pays special attention to the certain needs of women and children.


For the people, the difficult situation with food supply belongs to the most pressing problems. Therefore, kitchen gardens and fish ponds will be created in the project communities. The families will receive seeds, vegetables, fruit trees, garden tools and small animals. During intensive courses selected community members will be trained in animal farming and horticulture and pass their knowledge to the others. The aim of all these activities is to secure a stable and full-year self-sufficiency of the families. Any surplus the families can either exchange within the village or sell on the local market.

Water and Sanitation

Water as the most important part of our diet, has to be available for anyone at any time and in sufficient quantities in the project villages. Therefore, the construction of water tanks and piping systems is high on the priority list. Additionally, arche noVa realises hygiene awareness campaigns in the villages and schools. Due to this activities, diseases, which are based on wrong hygiene behavior and malnutrition stop to spread.


Due to the political situation, the future prospects of the refugee families are uncertain. A return to their home villages is currently not foreseeable and also, due to destroyed infrastructure is partly not desired. With this project arche noVa contributes to give a new perspective to people in their temporary settlements. This is also done with numerous activities at schools.

At seven schools arche noVa builds new school latrines, thus contributing to a significant improvement of the learning conditions and the health situation. Besides that, at three schools new buildings will be constructed with a total of 12 rooms. This complex of activities is rounded off by trainings, in which the pupils and the teachers acquire a basic knowledge of hygiene education and train their behavior during natural disasters.

After a detailed needs assessment arche noVa has decided to complement its construction activities in two municipalities with constructing a bridge. This is the only way for inhabitants to achieve the markets, hospitals and schools the whole year-round.

Disaster Risk Reduction

Since, the project region is frequently hit by natural disasters, Disaster Risk Reduction plays an important role in the project. The injury or even risk of death and other serious consequences, which are caused by earthquakes, storms and floods are to be reduced in the future. Therefore, search and rescue teams will be established in the municipalities, they will be equipped, trained and networked. The teams will work out a catastrophe management plan in their communities, develop early warning systems and carry out regular emergency drills.

Also, retreat and first aid points arise in the villages, which will provide protection after a flood or an earthquake. They provide shelter and are equipped with drinking water, toilets and first aid sets.

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A family receives domestic animals

Project Overview

Target Group
9,000 IDPs and residents (1,700 families) in 20 project villages

Reintegration of internally displaced persons by improving their state of health and nutrition, income support, development of social and economic basic infrastructure

  • Nutrition: creation of gardens and fish ponds, animal farming, creation of seed banks
  • Water, Sanitation, Hygiene: construction of various water supply systems, construction of school latrines, conducting hygiene trainings
  • Education: construction of school buildings and school equipment
  • Disaster Risk Reduction: recruitment, training and networking of Disaster Risk Reduction Committees, carrying out regular emergency drills, construction of rescue points
since Oktober 2014
Co-operation partners

SMDO (Sopay Myanmar Development Organization), MHDO (Myanmar‘s Heart Development Organization), MDCG (Maggin Development Consultancy Group)

  • Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Private Spenderinnen und Spender