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How is SHARE MERCY preparing their communities for the main cens

SHARE MERCY _ selected as UNFPA grantees, are preparing communities across Ayarwaddy for the main census results, armed with a copy of the census toolkit which contains information on how the census data was collected, analysed and what information will be released in the main census results on the 29th May 2015. Formal and informal trainings have been held to build local ownership of the census data. UNFPA has been traveling to various parts of the country to see first hand the impact of this training and recently visited Pyapon, a town 75 miles south west of Yangon.

Pyapon is on the western bank of the Pyapon River and is a regional fishing hub. In this rural setting, Share Mercy, a local non-governmental organisation, set up a two day workshop in Ohn Pin Village to share information about the census. Forty community leaders from diverse groups of the population including women’s groups, village elders and community wardens attended. Ni Ni, a field coordinator from Share Mercy said: “We have an obligation to inform people about the census and the potential value of the data”. Share Mercy plan to conduct similar workshops in 26 townships of the Ayeyarwady Region with community leaders, elders and junior government officials.

The cascade effect of the training is also gaining momentum. U Yin Oo, a volunteer from the Farm Problem solving support group, facilitated training in his community after attending a training workshop with Share Mercy. He said that the publications in the census toolkit were extremely useful in answering people’s questions about the census. His words were echoed by U Hla Htwe, secretary of the village development committee of Daunt Gyi village, some 10 miles east of Pyapon. He said: “Now we know what the census is and have confidence in the information that will be released. I will share this information with my committee”.

UNFPA visits to training workshops in Bago, Kachin, Kayah, Magway, Mandalay, Shan and Yangon have demonstrated the importance of Civil Society Organisations engaging with local communities and using the census toolkit to build trust in and highlight the importance of the census data for the future development of Myanmar.

Thirty Community Based Organisations and two International Non-Governmental Organisations, in addition to six of UNFPA’s implementing partners are working on community dialogues across almost all States and Regions of Myanmar.

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