Early childhood development in Myanmar is the focus of the first international project to receive funding from the A$20 million Woodside Development Fund.
Woodside will contribute A$100,000 to the Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) to establish a parent education program in Thabaung township, located in the Ayeyarwady region adjacent to Woodside’s offshore exploration permits.
The program will involve the establishment of parenting groups and home-based playgroups in 10 local villages. Parenting group facilitators will be selected from the local community and provided with training to promote improved practices for early childhood development.
MEC will be partnering with local non-government organisations Pann Pyoe Lett and Plan Myanmar to implement the program.
Woodside CEO and Managing Director Peter Coleman said Woodside took its commitment to corporate social responsibility very seriously.
"This program aligns with the Woodside Development Fund’s focus on initiatives that contribute to early childhood development, as well as addressing a demonstrated need for grass-roots initiatives in this area among local communities," Mr Coleman said.
MEC Director Craig Nightingale said MEC was all about bringing organisations together to help improve education for children in Myanmar.
"This is a great example where a respected international company is able to support an established local partner to help children get a better start in life," Mr Nightingale said.
MEC is managed by Save the Children and was established in 2013 with funding from the Australian, UK and Danish Governments. MEC works with partners to improve access to quality education for children in Myanmar.
Established in 2014, the Woodside Development Fund’s vision is that for every child zero to eight, life’s great.
A key focus of the Fund is supporting projects that bring together different organisations and sectors to work towards this vision.
To date, more than A$1.7 million has been contributed by the Fund to support projects in Australia.