Kayah Prosthetics Workshop Project


US Department of State



Burma has the third highest number of landmine victims in the world, an estimated 1,500 people each year. Although 10 out of Burma's 14 States and Divisions are mine contaminated, the most heavily impacted are the eastern States and Divisions bordering Thailand. An estimated five million people live in townships that contain mine-contaminated areas. However, inside Burma there are few services for landmine survivors. International NGO's have little access to mined areas in Burma but local community-based organizations (CBOs) do have access. CBO activities are limited due to low funds, lack of materials and low levels of technical, organizational and managerial skills.

In December 2013, World Education received a year of funding from the US Department of State’s Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA) office to work in Kayah State through the “Strengthening the Capacity and the Reach of the Kayah Prosthetics Workshop” project. Under this project, WE worked closely in partnership with the Karenni Health Workers’ Organization (KnHWO) to provide assistance to landmine survivors, including a Medical Fund for survivors, livelihood trainings, the provision of livelihood in-kind start-up grants and follow-up support, and regular meetings with their Prosthetics Workshop to improve the quality of life for landmine survivors and their families in Kayah and Shan States. The prosthetics workshop, run on a shoestring by six landmine survivors, provides new and refitted prostheses to 150 landmine survivors a year. World Education established a medical fund to pay the cost of medicine, medical equipment, bedding in the hospital, meals, transportation, and related fees. A survey of landmine survivors' skills, abilities and interests was conducted and livelihood training and small grant assistance provided. To ensure the effective programming and sustainability of KnHWO and their prosthetics workshop World Education staff provided technical and management training to KnHWO staff.

Through a second year of support from WRA, WE was able to expand its Victim Assistance support in Kayah State while continuing its support to KnWHO and the prosethetics workshop. This included providing 28 landmine survivors with a livelihoods training and in-kind grants to support their small business endeavors and assisting 17 survivors in joining self-help groups for peer-to-peer support. WE also, through a medical fund, covered medical expenses for landmine survivors such as shrapnel removal and donated devices and equipment to the KnWHO and Loikaw Hospital to treat landmine survivors. WE continued to collaborate with KnWHO and build their overall capacity to maintain and fund the prosthetics workshop, ensured KnWHO prosthetic technicians received up-to-date training, and collect data on landmine survivors in Kayah State. Overall the project met its goal of strengthening relationships in the humanitarian mine sector in Kayah State to ensure all stakeholders could work together to improve the lives of landmine survivors.

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