Cows for teachers?! It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

By September 11, 2013

Burma (MNN) — Education is a low priority in Burma. In some states, as few as 4 out of every 100 kids go to school.

With help from Partners, cows like this one are raised and sold for a profit. That money is used to support a new teacher for kids in a poor community. (Image courtesy Partners)

With help from Partners, cows like this one are raised and sold for a profit. That money is used to support a new teacher for kids in a poor community. (Image courtesy Partners)

One group is responding creatively to the challenge. In the name of Christ, Partners Relief and Development is trading cows for teachers.

Most communities can’t afford to support a teacher. In 2009, Partners started a new training program in Shan State. As a result, the Rural Development Foundation of Shan State (RDFSS) was formed in 2012. Hundreds of teachers have been trained over the past four years.

This year, Partners is taking their work to a new level with a focus on sustainable schooling options. Workers initiate income-generation development projects with RDFSS community leaders. These projects, in turn, support a community school.

Project ideas include pig farms, maize plantations, fish farms, rice paddy, duck farming, community shops and other context-specific ideas.

Nam Oon is one of the communities Partners is helping. Nearly 90 children live in Nam Oon, and most don’t go to school. For one, there aren’t enough teachers; secondly, no one has enough money to purchase school supplies.

Community leaders discussed options, trying to find the best way to provide payment for new teachers. They decided to invest in a cattle project with Partners.

Using a 70% loan from Partners, the leaders purchased four cows. These will be raised for a year under the care of local farmers. At the year’s end, these cows will be sold for a profit.

According to Partners, part of the profit will be used to support a new teacher, while another part will be used to repay the loan. Any capital gained from the sale will be used to buy more cows to keep the project going.

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Pray people come to know Christ as they see His love in action.

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