Kan Taw Lay village from Naung Kyaw village tract is at Hsihseng township in Southern Shan state. It is 13 miles far from Hsi Hsaing Township. The majority ethnic living at the village is “Pa Oh”. Their main livelihood is farming. Just a mere 9 households established this village in 1980 but the population has grown from people migrating from “Pin Laung” village. Now it has grown to 130 households in this village.
Monsoon time is always a busy time for most of the villagers. It’s the time they plow, weed and sow seeds on their hill farms. Every morning women get up early to cook breakfast and lunch for their family, they get up early especially to do this so that their husbands will not be late getting to the farm. While the women prepare food for the family, the men arrange their farming tools and equipment such as knife, Hoe, cattle (Cows and Buffaloes) to carry/take them to the hill farms/terrace farms.
Morning time is very important for every villager. Women are quick in preparing food especially breakfast. In Shan State, “Tofu” is one of the famous foods for most people. It is very easy to prepare, you can either deep-fried or cut them into strips and mix tofu with different herbs, chili, salt and make it into a very yummy Tofu salad. It is very delicious as well as nutritious. “Tofu is made from Dahl Gram. Most people from this particular region have Tofu for their main meal substitute instead of rice and curry, especially if they are busy with other household chores to prepare rice and curry.
Here is a story of one particular lady who refuses to have a word “DEFEAT” in her vocabulary. Her name is More Htan. She is in her 40s and has a family of her own. Life was not particularly kind to her. All her life, she had to struggle like everyone else. There one dream she always has, was to have her own small business but without any saving to invest into a small business, it was not as practical.
The day she was selected to attend training from ADRA New Zealand funded project, was the day she knew she could chase her small dream. She was one of the twelve selected to attend the ADAR’s Food Preservation Training. The Trainees were selected according to their beneficiary selection criteria.
Moe Htan was rather excited to join the selected group for the training. She always sat at the front and took note of everything the trainer said. She completed her training and was received a starter kit from the project to start her own small business. The road to her success was now paved and all she could do was to learn to walk on it.
Four months passed since she completed her training course on food preservation and she has now opened her small shop selling Tofu. She named her shop “ADRA Kyae Zu Tofu Sai” meaning “ADRA Merit Tofu Shop” (direct translation). Her little shop is now extended into and small dry grocery shop. Customers come to eat her food and also buy small dry goods from her shop. The income she receives from this little shop meets the daily need of her family.
All in all, we could say that the food preservation training is a success! We thank ADRA New Zealand for the funding they provided to make a difference for the people of Hsi HSai Township in Southern Shan States.
By Khun Yan Naung Soe
Field Assistant and Work Coordinator