We aim to build partnerships with communities wherever we operate. We establish community based volunteers to work with us and help manage the social impacts of our business activities, address concerns associated with our operations, and ensure development opportunities are provided.

CSR community

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Promoting Leadership from within the Community - Giving a Voice to those who may feel they have none

Developing a plan for identifying local needs and resources can help businesses understand how to improve their communities in the most logical and efficient ways possible. Needs can be defined as the gap between what is and what should be, and can be experienced by an individual or an entire community. It can be as concrete as the need for safe drinking water or as abstract as improved community cohesiveness. Every individual is a potential community asset, and everyone has assets that can be used for community building.

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Promoting Leadership from within the Community - Giving a Voice to those who may feel they have none

Developing a plan for identifying local needs and resources can help businesses understand how to improve their communities in the most logical and efficient ways possible. Needs can be defined as the gap between what is and what should be, and can be experienced by an individual or an entire community. It can be as concrete as the need for safe drinking water or as abstract as improved community cohesiveness. Every individual is a potential community asset, and everyone has assets that can be used for community building.

We may already know what the needs of the community are. Everyone could be aware, and there’s no doubt about it, but most of the time, the needs are not quite so clear. Does everyone feel the same way? Wouldn’t it be worth checking what other people think, just to clarify whether others share your point of view? Sometimes, what the community wants may not always be the same as what it needs.

Identifying needs and assets can be helpful to businesses at almost any point of initiative. An assessment is a great opportunity to use community-based participatory approaches, further involving community members and increasing community capacity. The assessment process benefits greatly when there’s full participation from community stakeholders. Their idea of priorities might be different from those of professionals, but shouldn’t be ignored.

Comprehensive community needs assessments take time, people and resources. A planning process will give community members the opportunity to voice their opinions, hopes, and fears about the community. Today’s businesses have learned the importance of involving the members of their communities in the planning of programs and of communicating with stakeholders regularly during the planning process. Community involvement during the needs assessment can create and maintain the support of the key community members which is necessary for successful programs.

At MPRL E&P, we have always conducted a community needs assessment prior to developing CSR work programs for the following fiscal year. A series of discussions have been made with village administrators, elders, village development committees and community-based volunteers to identify the important issues and needs for the community and what they think is needed – and we must do this genuinely, with a mind open to change.

MPRL E&P strategically invests in social programs that consider community needs and the country’s economic and social goals. Our community investment initiatives create real social impact as well as business benefits and are underpinned by the following key principles:

  • Identify the social issues that are most relevant to the business and most pressing to the communities we work with
  • Work in partnership with our communities leveraging our combined expertise for mutual benefit
  • Plan and manage community investment using the most appropriate resources to deliver our CSR goals
  • Inspire and engage our employees, business partners and suppliers to support our community programs
  • Measure and evaluate the differences that our social investment has on the community and on the business, and
  • Strive for continued improvement.

In addition to addressing community priorities where we conduct our business, we partner with governments and non-governmental organizations to help enhance the quality of life in the communities where we operate. We focus our efforts on our signature initiatives:

  • Improving education,
  • Improving community infrastructure;
  • Providing improved access to safe drinking water, and
  • Building community leadership (including but not limited to mentorship programs for community-based volunteers, equipping village leaders to create a change-capable culture, advancing economic opportunities for women etc.)

We concentrate on these areas because they help build a foundation for economic prosperity and human progress.

At MPRL E&P, we strongly believe that empowering people can help eradicate poverty because those who have been empowered will become self-reliant from their skills that they have learned, and they can have jobs which they will use to take care of their family. Empowering communities through education, information, and coaching, and amplifying the possibilities to get a job or create a small business, is the best way to achieve poverty eradication because empowered people are the actors of their own development.

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Community Volunteers Benefitted from Mentorship Programs

Mentorship is an essential component of professional development in business settings. Starting from July 2017, community volunteers in Mann Field have taken part in a mentorship program which, with a focus on the future, aims to strengthen broader skills for their personal and career development.

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Community Volunteers Benefitted from Mentorship Programs

Mentorship is an essential component of professional development in business settings. Starting from July 2017, community volunteers in Mann Field have taken part in a mentorship program which, with a focus on the future, aims to strengthen broader skills for their personal and career development.

Daw Lai Lai Khaing, CSR Field Support Staff, said, “Our mentorship program which takes in four or five community volunteers at a time have three key elements: improving the general performance of our community volunteers in CSR projects, counselling and sharing knowledge for enhancing their morale, problem-solving skills and discovering their hidden talents. We hope that they will be more confident to participate in problem solving, and to develop strong communication skills in dealing with the communities, in regards to strengthening the engagement mechanisms and delivery of CSR projects in the future.”

Ko Aung Tay Zar, a Community Volunteer from Lat Pan Taw Village said, “I have learned that in carrying out public projects, communication skills are really important. Effective communication skills will enable us to complete our projects in a timely manner, to solve problems efficiently and to implement projects that are sustainable successfully. I used to be a blunt speaker – I just said what I thought without thinking carefully first. As a result, problems arose when I dealt with village authorities. Now thanks to the communication skills I have developed through this mentorship program, I have improved my relationship with village authorities and this helps with implementation of projects. I used to show very few initiative too – I did things only when there was an instruction. Now this has changed too. I am very thankful to have participated in this mentorship program which really helped me improve my overall performance.”

Ma Kyi Kyi Myaing is another community volunteer from Kyar Kan Village who has participated in the mentorship program and thinks the program is very helpful. “It opens my mind, with new knowledge and understanding on what I am capable of. I have improved in terms of communication, relationship and decision-making. I have more confidence in contributing to village development and managing my own business. I now have a better relationships with community authorities and extended my circle of friends and acquaintances. This in turns helped me start my own tailoring business. I used to have to work at a tailoring shop in Minbu but no longer. Therefore, because of the mentorship program, I was able to accomplish a lot for both my volunteering job and private life.”

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Communities Lead Village Development in Mann Field

Empowering communities to acquire ownership

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Communities Lead Village Development in Mann Field

Empowering communities to acquire ownership

MPRL E&P started implementing philanthropic Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in Mann field since its assumption of responsibility in 1999, concentrating on the four areas: strengthening access to education, improving access to basic healthcare, water and sanitation, socio-cultural initiatives, and disaster response and management. It was in 2012 when the Company began to further develop its CSR thinking from a philanthropic one to a more strategic focus, which centers on engaging and supporting the development of local communities.

As a result, the Company’s CSR team has initiated engagement with 14 communities living in the project area in order to directly address their needs and concerns regarding community development and impacts of the business operations, with a goal of contributing to the sustainable development and livelihoods of the communities through active engagement and regular dialogue.

One of the successful engagement methods is the establishment of Village Development Committees in each community. U Kan Chun, a 48-year-old farmer, Village Administrator and Village Development Committee member from Kyar Kan Village, one of the surrounding villages in Mann field, explained how the Committee was ‘formally’ formed in November 2015.

“The CSR team from the Company came to meet with the village administrators of the 14 villages in Mann field and discussed how they could support us based on our needs and focus. Although there used to be some such committee for electricity supply in my community, for example, the Village Development Committee was firmly established through the partnership between village elders, youth groups, village administrators, MOGE’s and MPRL E&P’s CSR teams to implement the community investment initiatives.”

It has been aimed to be more than engagement: the community members are empowered to effectively acquire ownership of the community investment projects reflecting and meeting their specific needs, from planning, designing, to implementing and managing the projects through the support of MPRL E&P’s CSR team. Another 63-year-old Village Committee Member from Ywar Thar Village of which its own Committee was formed in September 2014 contemplated over the knowledge transfer sessions and capacity building trainings by the CSR team and how they have contributed to the formation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and shared values among community members.

“The trainings were provided for collecting and maintaining data and funds for the development projects as well as managing the processes and procedures. Basically, they included project management training, facilitation training and team building training. This is to help us do our work better, in collaboration with MOGE and the Company.”

COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS

MPRL E&P recognizes that strategic community investment projects should provide value for the company and impact the community positively. As a result, MPRL E&P aims to contribute to the sustainable development and improved livelihoods of communities where we operate through active engagement and regular dialogue. This approach reduces risks, provides a social license to operate, and most importantly delivers business value for MPRL E&P. Our business objectives for community investment include building relationships and enabling employee engagement.

To support this approach, MPRL E&P encourages surrounding communities to participate in, and contribute to, the various discussions to address community needs where we operate. Our community investment initiatives aim to engage with and support local communities where we operate. We do this through:

OUR STRATEGY

All MPRL E&P community investment and development projects must be strategic in that they address risk and impact resulting from our operations and have a rational basis for investment. Key methods such as continuous community consultation, stakeholder engagement, and identification of social impact and community needs help guide our business decisions and enable us to proactively address any community concerns. Outcome and impacts of all social investments are measured to indicate significant change.

OUR MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK

Human rights, environmental management, communication, as well as community investment and development inform MPRL E&P’s social management system. MPRL E&P’s Community Investment Policy, CSR Policy, and Human Rights Policy influence how we engage with communities and people. The policies are consistent with internationally recognized International Finance Corporate Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability and United Nations Global Compact Principles.

The system provides for a focus on ‘needs assessments and baseline’ to gather the community’s opinions, necessities, challenges, and assets in order to determine the real needs of the community.


Health, Water & Sanitation

Improving access to clean water is a basic necessity. It can improve the health, economy, and social wellbeing of a community. MPRL E&P invested in 11 communities within Mann field by building water wells and water tanks to ensure a constant access to water supplies. Village development committees were taught to manage the projects including community expectations. MPRL E&P worked alongside the committees and provided technical expertise to ensure safety standards and requirements were met as well as conducted knowledge transfer to ensure basic skills such as management was provided. At least 69% of the communities were satisfied with the project.

Education

Every child deserves the right to an education. Understanding the constraints of public schools in rural areas MPRL E&P has invested in school infrastructure, materials and equipment to aid the effectiveness and quality of education provided in Mann field. A total of 342 students aged 5-16 gained access to classroom furniture. A further total of 10 members of the communities received short-term work providing them with 130,000 MMK each.

Disaster Relief & Management

Effectively responding to natural disasters requires effective communication and a viable team ethic. MPRL E&P has responded to 2 large flooding disasters that affected the communities in Mann field. A series of assessments were initiated to better understand the needs and concerns of the communities ensuring the right type of relief was provided and effective rehabilitation followed. A total of USD 681,772.06 has been spent on 2 disaster responses and 171 employees volunteered a total of 2245 hours to assist with the relief and recovery.

Philanthropy

Supporting corporate philanthropy promotes a sense of company pride and loyalty. Encouraging employees to be active in the community is a value conveyed throughout the organization. A variety of projects have been established across Mann field to promote a sense of giving. Since 2001 a total of USD 106,068 has been spent on charity based activities.

Community Capacity Development

Building the capacity of key stakeholders is essential in order to establish community ownership and informed decision making. Key skills such as community mobilization, negotiation, facilitation, and project management have been provided to village development committees and community based volunteers. Since 2015, 618 training man-hours have been recorded.