GMAP recently visited Myanmar to conduct gender and diversity training with Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and The HALO Trust.
The visit was part of a global consortium project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
The consortium members work across several states in Myanmar, which is still in the midst of a peace process. Until a nationwide peace agreement is reached clearance of contaminated areas is not permitted so operators are currently focused on community liaison activities, mainly a combination of Mine Risk Education (MRE) and Non-Technical Survey (NTS). These activities require regular interaction with beneficiary communities and this was the focus of the training provided by GMAP.
Over three two-day training courses provided for HALO, NPA, and MAG, trainees aimed to answer the questions of how mine action operators can ensure that they effectively reach everyone in need of risk education and gain as much information as possible from all parts of the community when conducting surveys. In a country with great ethnic and linguistic diversity and with varying local attitudes towards age and gender norms this can be a complicated undertaking.
GMAP travelled to Yangon, Hpa-An, and Loikaw to deliver training to a total of 46 participants from field and support roles on the basics of gender and diversity in mine action, community liaison, MRE, NTS, staffing, and quality management.
With the positive attitude demonstrated throughout the trainings, the consortium staff will serve Myanmar’s mine affected communities well and will be well placed to ensure that clearance benefits all of those affected when a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement is finally reached.