Tailor graduates in Mon State receive income support to produce face masks

Since the announcement of Covid-19 as a global pandemic by the WHO, communities and institutions were put into lockdown to limit the spread of the virus. Although many businesses in Myanmar have since gradually resumed operations under controlled social distancing measures, local economies have been severely affected and many people are struggling to maintain their livelihoods.

Mon state, located in the southeast of Myanmar, is no exception, with many micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) struggling to stay afloat.

The Covid-19 response program in Mon State, led by Chief Minister of the State, is organising and coordinating activities with development partners, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and private sector support. One of these activities is a state-wide mask campaign focused on distributing and promoting the use of masks among selected groups in the community e.g. community workers, school students, etc. 

With funding support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Vocational Skills Development Program (VSDP), implemented by Swisscontact, collaborated with CSO partners to support the mask production by paying graduates from its tailoring courses to produce 40,000 cloth masks. Not only does this activity contribute to the availability of reusable masks, but it also provides much needed income support during the Covid-19 crisis to tailors from disadvantaged backgrounds, most of whom are women.

The VSDP has been implementing activities in Mon state since 2015, where vocational training in selected occupations has been delivered to disadvantaged women and men to support improvements in their livelihoods. During this challenging time, the VSDP continues to support the government’s efforts in revitalizing the local economy.