The goal of Handicap International in Myanmar is to promote the equal rights of mine and other explosive remnant of war (ERW) victims and of people with disabilities. The organization works to foster an inclusive society and enable the full social participation of people with disabilities, while striving to reduce the human and socio-economic impact of mines/ERW. Handicap International currently employs seven staff members and three expatriates in Myanmar.
Myanmar is one of three countries with the most landmine victims in the world. Since 1984, Handicap International has operated along the border between Myanmar and Thailand, producing and distributing assistive devices, facilitating community-based rehabilitation, and preventing casualties and accidents caused by landmines. Handicap International's work in Myanmar has focused on developing projects relating to inclusive education, disaster risk reduction, and victim assistance since 2014.
- Inclusive education
- Disaster risk education
- Mine/ERW victim assistance
- Local policy making & support for Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs)
Handicap International provides technical assistance to the Myanmar Independent Living Initiative and 200 other disabled people's organizations that work towards improving school accessibility for children with disabilities. This project has improved the access to basic education for 120 children with disabilities, trained 150 teachers and education administration staff in inclusive education techniques, and raised the awareness of 400 community members throughout the Rangoon and Averyarwadi regions.
Disaster risk education
To increase the disaster management capacity of the region of Rangoon, Handicap International has trained 450 Burmese in disaster management, specifically how to assist those with disabilities in the wake of an emergency response operation.
Mine/ERW victim assistance
To improve the quality of life of mines/ERW survivors and other adults and children with disabilities in Myanmar, Handicap International has established a new victim assistance center in Kyaukkyi, where updated information on victim services and physical rehabilitation is offered to more than 1,000 beneficiaries. The organization is also building the project management skills of the Myanmar Physical Handicap Association (MPHA) in order to sustain mine/ERW victim assistance throughout the region.
Local policy making & support for DPOs
Handicap International provides organizational, technical, and financial support to national and local DPOs in order to improve the access to basic services for people with disabilities and to improve inclusion of people with disabilities at the national level. Specific activities of this project include collecting data, coordinating between the disability and political sectors, and supporting the application of a regional development plan for people with disabilities.