January 27th, 2017:
After the morning at Bom Mom village, we stopped for lunch and then headed about 30 miles south of Lashio to Sam Laung village. Sam Laung has about 50o people and 90 families, but Meikswe Myanmar is primarily working with the 40 Li Su families who applied for the project and received the grant. In addition to bringing their suite of development ideas to the village (children’s education, health education, healthcare, basic medication, community development and family planning), in 2012 they also started a water buffalo project. The water buffalos provide no meat or milk, but they are more like a living tractor that requires no diesel, can plow fields, haul wagons, and in the off season crop and fertilize the corn fields for the farmers.
In 2012 the 40 families had 3 buffalo, and through micro financing and breeding they set the goal of getting each family their own animal. The project took off and within 3 years they had successfully reached their goal. Each buffalo takes about 3 years to reach maturity, but then they live for about 20 years. Since they now have an abundance of animals they are able to sell some to neighboring villages and towns, full grown buffalo is worth 1,000,000Kyat ($740), so it can bring a huge windfall to the village when they sell one.
This village had the feel of new prosperity, growth and everyone I spoke to seemed excited about what the future had to offer.
Ya Pi Si is the village religious leader and pastor, the Li Su primarily practice Christian traditions. Drying corn in the sun. Loading corn on a truck near on the highway Sam Luang village.