Ma Thwe (far right), along with fellow trainer Htun Hling (centre) and the trainees at the silversmith workshop. “My dream is to help them stand confidently on their own,” she says.

Women are worth their weight in gold. Or in this case, taught they are worth much more through silver. Silversmithing, to be precise.

For this year’s Spring Appeal, we would like to introduce you to our partner, Akhaya, in Myanmar and invite you to support their work.

The culture in Myanmar is very patriarchal and women do not have many rights, either in public or at home, and issues like human trafficking continue to significantly affect young girls.

One of the ways Akhaya tackles this problem is through a silversmith initiative where they teach vulnerable women about their worth and train them to make beautiful silver jewellery.

One of the best ways to help vulnerable women who are at risk of domestic violence or being trafficked is to give them the skills to earn money and support themselves. This gives them the independence to manage their own lives, and in turn gives them hope and dignity.

Akhaya’s silversmith program gives women skills and a new hope.

It is such a joy to see the lives of women at risk turned around. Ma Thwe, a trainer at the silversmith workshop run by Akhaya, knows this first hand. “I am always proud to teach the underprivileged girls,” she says.

When she teaches, she shares her own story and how she survived through difficulties to keep her passion alive. This inspires them and reassures them that they can overcome whatever stigma they face and make a good life for themselves.

“By learning silversmith, they can earn living on their own and they will not need to depend on their husbands. Silversmith skills can be used wherever and whenever they are at in their lives.”

At the same time as teaching them to become economically independent, the women are also taught how to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Because of this “they have become stronger and empowered emotionally and mentally,” Ma Thwe says.

“The girls all have different emotional feelings and personal struggles, but it is my dream to help them stand confidently on their own.”

You can be part of transforming the lives of vulnerable women by donating to our ‘Worth Their Weight in Gold’ Spring Appeal.

This project is giving an increased sense of dignity to women! Can you imagine what it must be like to have gone through the horrors of domestic violence or being trafficked and treated like you are nothing?

In Ma Thwe’s words:
“Akhaya’s project is good for girls because we not only teach them skills but also nurture them with life skills, thinking ability and empowerment. They now understand how women should be treated, accept and share this knowledge back to their community members, both men and women.”

Ma Thwe beams with pride in the workshop with her students: “I am always proud to train underprivileged girls.”

That’s the sort of transformation we love to see!

Please join us in the transformation of more women in Myanmar. You will be helping them to live free from harassment, violence and poverty.

As always, thank you for your support and please pray for our work and the girls who are worth so much more than silver or gold.

Left: The trainees work diligently in the workshop, learning the 10 basic techniques in silversmithing. Right: After three months, most trainees have the skills to produce these signature Akhaya-designed flower earrings.

The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure, silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.

Psalm 12:6

To donate to our 2019 Spring Appeal, click on the ‘Please Donate’ button below (choose ’01A. 2019 Spring Appeal – Myanmar’ from the ‘Donation’ drop-down menu) or call us on 1800 249 880.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque/money order made payable to Anglican Overseas Aid to:

Anglican Overseas Aid
2019 Spring Appeal
PO Box 389
Abbotsford, VIC 3067