Saemaul Undong is a Korean word; in English means “New Village Movement” and in Myanmar, ]aus;&GmopfvIyf&Sm;rI}. Language is a symbol to be created so that people can understand each other. Word doesn’t matter to me whatever it means in Korean or English or Myanmar. The most important thing is “the essence of the word”.
KOICA have brought Myanmar the essence of Saemaul Undong from KOREA. Myanmar Saemaul Undong Project has been implemented since December, 2014. Initially 100 pilot villages were selected in 9 Regions and States with the aim of building NEW VILLAGES as the model for other villages of Myanmar. Additional 10 villages were selected with the help of POSCO DAEWOO Company and, Daegu Bank and Yeungnam University.
Now the Myanmar Saemaul Undong Project has achieved the self-evident results in the villages due to the villagers’ enthusiastic cooperation. There are three main tasks: capacity building, living environment improvement and income generation. The living environment improvement task includes construction of roads, village hall, village bridge and canal, establishment of drinking water and electric, and cleaning of the village environment. These photos are some of the living environment improvement tasks; villagers’ cooperation and success.
The self-evident results can be felt through the villagers’ satisfied voice.
Daw Win Mar, Village Leader, Kanphyu village, Madadar Township, Mandalay Region told me;
Long ago in my village it was difficult to pay a visit to each house another during the raining season because the roads were muddy due to the heavy rain. When someone visited the house deep inside the village, he left his bicycle or motor-cycle at the house beside the road and went to the desirable house on foot because the inside road was too muddy to go. The villagers were afraid of the raining season and thought that they should not have it.
Now the village main road was concreted in the first year and the village surrounding roads were cobbled smoothly. Therefore the villagers are not afraid of the raining season and we dare pass it with the good road because of the project.
In 2016, the village-inside roads and village surrounding roads are cobbled and in 2018 the remaining roads will continue to be cobbled. Because of the project we can increase our income. In previous time, the villagers had to borrow money from the rich man with 20% interest rate and sometimes 10% rate. If someone is very familiar with them, they can have 5% interest rate. Now due to the project, the villagers can borrow money with 2% interest rate even though they don’t have the desirable amount. They are very happy.
My village has developed a lot. We have nursery school, water cleaning machine and electricity in my village due to the project. The changes of the village are too much more than before. I have often heard that those who arrived before the project said that this village had changed a lot with much surprize. The villagers are very happy with the bliss.
U Soe Aung, Village Leader, Kwinyar(East), Kangyidauk Township, Ayeyarwaddy Region told me;
In Ayeyarwaddy region, it rains too much. Before this project, the village road is muddy and the bicycle and motor cycle can’t be ridden on the road. Now because of this project, the village has developed. The motorcycle can be ridden in front of the house. It is fine for social activities and health. If somebody is not good in health, the car can directly reach to the house. My village is not crowded in the previous time, but now the village has developed and been crowded with the cars and motorcycles.
This project gives us village fund. The buildings for living environment improvement are constructed and roads are concreted. For income generation, the loan is lent with the low interest rate. For capacity building, study tour is carried out. In this way, our village occupies the concrete roads, and village hall. The village hall can’t be built only with the villager’s mental and physical force. It is successful to have built the village hall with the help of the project, the villagers participating.
I always hear sounds of happy heart of villagers, and they would like to say “Great thanks to KOREA”. They say that they are very lucky to be selected pilot villages in Myanmar Saemaul Undong Project. May the populace of Korea hear happy sounds of happy hearts from Myanmar villagers!