Metta Development Foundation
More than forty years of internal conflicts have had a devastating impact on the peoples of Myanmar. Many communities suffered displacement, loss of life, property and livelihood. A new era of challenge in the country’s troubled history was ushered in when ceasefire agreements were reached between the government and the majority of armed ethnic groups. This backdrop of peace means that it is now possible to reach out to communities in strife torn areas and initiate a development process that would help them evolve into stable, self-reliant societies within the Union.
It is with the specific aim of assisting these communities in distress that the Metta Development Foundation was established in 1998 as a non-governmental organization. Metta’s assistance, initially among the Kachins in the far north, will be extended to other regions of Myanmar, regardless of ethnic origin or religious orientation.
Metta’s main objectives are to:
- create a framework for self-help initiatives
- support sustainable community-based projects
- facilitate skills training
- establish partnerships with like-minded organisations or individuals
The driving force behind Metta is the concept that the very word embodies – that of loving kindness.
Metta programmes are grass-roots initiated. As such they operate with the participation of local communities in various aspects of planning, implementation and evaluation. Local resources are mobilised wherever possible and women are afforded the same level of representation as men.
Metta’s assistance focuses on the three programme areas of building community capacity, coordinating sustainable development projects and promoting community controlled social and economic associations. Priority is given to initiatives that are economically viable, technically appropriate and socially acceptable.
The training and education essential for communities to participate meaningfully in their development is provided through locally conducted workshops. Study trips to regional countries with similar community profiles also form part of the training process.
The establishment of a community organisation network which serves as a forum for sharing experiences and expertise forms part of the strategy for reaching out to communities from a diverse range of ethnicity and faith backgrounds.
Metta projects currently operate through funds received from international development agencies but self-help mechanisms incorporated into the project process will enable self-sufficiency within a period of three years.
Metta programmes are making progress through the strong commitment of local communities and the cooperation of national and international development partners.See more