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

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:

  • Having an effective functioning grievance mechanism
  • Investing in sustainable livelihoods (education, capacity development, and vocational training)
  • Improving well-being (improve access to water, sanitation, hygiene, health, nutrition, and safety culture)
  • Partnerships with local groups

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.

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Keeping up with Healthcare Delivery: Reviving Mobile Clinic

MPRL E&P revived its Mobile Clinic Program in Mann Field after witnessing many hardships in the community as a result of the pandemic. The up and running Mobile Clinic is now providing primary healthcare services and health education services for those who had been stripped of access to proper healthcare amid the pandemic and socio-economic crisis due to the rise in general living expenditures and/or being stuck at home as a result of coronavirus closures.

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Keeping up with Healthcare Delivery: Reviving Mobile Clinic

MPRL E&P revived its Mobile Clinic Program in Mann Field after witnessing many hardships in the community as a result of the pandemic. The up and running Mobile Clinic is now providing primary healthcare services and health education services for those who had been stripped of access to proper healthcare amid the pandemic and socio-economic crisis due to the rise in general living expenditures and/or being stuck at home as a result of coronavirus closures.

The revived Mobile Clinic comes equipped with a locally recruited medical doctor, health assistant, volunteers, a socially distanced waiting area for patients, glass dividers with small hand openings for patient registration and preliminary physical screening as well as plastic partitions between the entrance and exit.

It rotationally runs in four villages and each regular clinic session lasts for three hours on average. The services are free of charge for seniors, women, and children.

The Mobile Clinic, in addition to supporting the medically underserved as intended originally, can assist in keeping an eye on at-risk groups in light of the coronavirus pandemic in its third year. MPRL E&P temporarily suspended the Mobile Clinic Program for twenty-two consecutive months for safety concerns for both staff and patients.

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It has been shut down since 11th March 2020 when the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

The Mobile Clinic Program was first introduced in September 2018 to meet the needs of the medically underserved civilians consisting primarily of women, children and the elderly in Mann Field. The CSR and Communications Department, which leads the initiative, conducts regular assessments with patients and volunteers to ensure satisfaction and effectiveness of the services.

The most recent assessment revealed the former patients’ strong desire to have the Mobile Clinic reopened in line with the pandemic prevention measures since they are facing challenges in seeking proper healthcare services.

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Making the Case for Green Schoolyards in Mann Field Communities

Green schoolyards are getting increasingly popular around the world and it is never too late to invest in school grounds, whether in smaller communities or public institutions.

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Making the Case for Green Schoolyards in Mann Field Communities

Green schoolyards are getting increasingly popular around the world and it is never too late to invest in school grounds, whether in smaller communities or public institutions.

Over the past few decades, there has been a growing distance between human societies and nature due to technological advances, modern urbanization, and infrastructure, and yet these trends have had negative impacts on ecosystems and society’s relationship to nature. Most of us casually talk about this large concern regarding the effects of economic demand and population growth on our community and the environment around us. One of the ways to tackle this ongoing problem is by fostering outdoor learning initiatives at schools, also known as the “Green Schoolyard Movement” which is gaining momentum around the globe. This popularity is the result of many benefits that these “new” schoolyards bring out, from developing a sense of curiosity, adventure, and healthy lifestyle among the children and youth of all ages, while improving the local ecosystems and environmental sustainability.

Many studies have shown that contact with nature can enhance creativity, bolster positive mood, lower stress, improve mental acuity, well-being, and productivity. It also cultivates social connectedness and promotes physical activity. Further, not only are outdoor play yards an important part of children’s enjoyment of childhood and mental growth, but they also build healthy communities and vibrant school environments. One recent study shows a correlation between improved cognitive development in children with outdoor green spaces, particularly with greenness at schools.

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Green schoolyards are getting increasingly popular around the world and it is never too late to invest in school grounds, whether in smaller communities or public institutions. It’s clear to me that we need to put more effort into developing this vision. To make this happen, support is needed from like-minded organizations, local and public institutions, and community leaders. A good example would be to incorporate outdoor teaching in schools and use the green spaces as a way to rejuvenate students’ minds. Who doesn’t love fresh air and natural light?

As an innovative community leader, MPRL E&P strives to provide any support to the communities where we work. In Mann Field, our CSR Team has begun the initiative of having an outdoor learning program to promote a healthy lifestyle and environmental awareness. We are driven and dedicated by this vision for outdoor learning because we believe it plays an important role in the overall development of children. They need outdoor play and the touch of nature, but we are not giving them this opportunity and not to mention, they learn faster through experience and social play instead of sitting at the desk reading a textbook. In Mann Field, we conduct community outdoor learning programs in “schoolyards” that include flower gardens, playground equipment with recycled materials, nature play areas, raised bed vegetable gardens, trees, and more. We feel that we are also contributing to environmental sustainability.

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Our CSR Team and community leaders at Mann Field will be taking part in the global Outdoor Classroom Day movement to celebrate the Outdoor Classroom Day on 19th May 2022. This is a day where teachers are encouraged to take their classes outside – to teach the students the developing skills for life by showing them a better understanding of the environment while enhancing engagement through learning and fostering physical and mental health.

Furthermore, in Mann Field, to help children reach their full learning potential, we will be offering regular outdoor learning opportunities. Every week, teachers will teach one lesson outdoors, in a green space. The community leaders and teachers will focus on environmental awareness building and discuss ways to create and sustain green spaces at schools and in the community. After all, nature offers a vibrant playground of possibilities with all the resources and facilities needed. How fun is it to get your hair messy and have dirt stains all over your clothes? And who will say no to academics with fun activities!

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The Field is the School; Plants are the Teachers

Being a farmer is more than a job. It is a way of life full of learning opportunities.

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The Field is the School; Plants are the Teachers

Being a farmer is more than a job. It is a way of life full of learning opportunities.

For farmers, the weather is never predictable, and there is always something that needs to get done before the sun goes down. But at the end of each day, they achieve something palpable. Without even noticing, working on a farm can develop a level of patience and integrity that takes many people years to acquire and learn. Nowadays, most of the rural youth do not want to farm for a living. We cannot blame them – it is hard work. Aging farmers often rely on hired labor, which pushes up production costs. But underneath that notion, there are many life lessons learned from farming.

Children who grow up on a farm in rural areas learn to create their own fun and entertainment. The great outdoors is a real-time video game, filled with trees to climb, bugs to catch, and sunshine to soak up. Kids who grow up on a farm do not need to play with farm animals on their iPads, because they actually have real farm animals to watch and play with. Farming teaches a person from a young age to appreciate the ability to create his or her own fun, rather than rely on others for happiness and enjoyment.

Farming can truly be a family affair. Families that farm together share and pass on family values, knowledge and skills which can lead to forming stronger communities and sustainable lifestyle. Children who grow up on the farms are resilient and tough, and they understand life struggles and know how to cope with inconveniences and challenges. They learn to appreciate togetherness and simplicity of life.

Nowadays, farming communities in the Dry Zone are found to be most sensitive to the impacts of erratic rain, land degradation, limited access to quality inputs, and unsupportive agricultural policies. Moreover, these shocks and stresses were found to be in a state of constant interaction, serving to exacerbate one another in several ways. The overall result is a deepening cycle of debt that further reduces the ability of households to cope and adapt to dynamic social, economic, and environmental conditions. For example, farmers often have to cope with restrictive repayment conditions by selling their crops immediately at harvest when prices are at their lowest. In turn, farmers are unable to produce an adequate profit, invest in higher quality inputs, or invest in savings. As a result, farmers and laborers are becoming increasingly impacted by acute shocks that affect product quality and quantity due to low rainfall or pest infestations.

In the near future, MPRL E&P’s CSR Program aims to establish community-based, non-formal education to groups of 20-30 farmers from Mann Field Communities through self-discovery and participatory learning principles. The school will bring together farmers who live in the same village or catchment that are sharing the same ecological settings and socio-economic situations. This will in turn provide them with knowledge and realization that they can actually control many factors which influence their harvests.

The upcoming Farm Field School (FFS) is a participatory non-formal adult learning where farmers and extension staff will have a chance to debate over observations including climate monitoring and apply their previous experiences and share new information from outside the community. Thus, FFS as an extension methodology will form a dynamic process that is practiced and controlled by the farmers to transform their observations to create a more scientific understanding of the crop or livestock agroecosystem.

MPRL E&P CSR Program’s ultimate aim of initiating the Farm Field School is to improve farmers’ knowledge and decision-making abilities, so they can build up sustainable agricultural systems that preserve environmental integrity, increase economic benefits, and promote social equity. FFS will consist of groups of people with a common interest, who get together regularly to study the “how and why” of a particular topic. The results of the meetings will be management decisions on what actions to take. All learning will be hands-on and based in the field, and learning materials will be learner-generated. The role of the extension worker will be very much that of a facilitator rather than a conventional teacher. Once the farmers learn and know what they have to do after observation and being in the fields, the extension worker will take a back-seat role and offer help and guidance only when required. This way, farmers understand the ecology and become experts in their own field.

FFS will also provide an opportunity for farmers to practice and test or evaluate sustainable land-use technologies and further introduce new technologies by comparing their conventional technologies developed using their own traditions and culture. Pretty much, FFS will be a school without walls. It will be centered on the concept of hands-on learning with the goal of building on the farmers’ skills and enhancing their capacity to critically analyze and solve local agricultural challenges. The school will also help provide vulnerable young people a community to tap into and build a foundation for life skills that are invaluable for a better future.

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Supporting a New Group of Community Youths for Vocational Training

MPRL E&P’s CSR Program launched a scholarship program for a new group of seven youths in Mann Field in December 2021. The scholarship enables the community youths to acquire quality and relevant technical and vocational skills training at No. (5) Industrial Training Center (Magway), which was set to reopen after a month-long closure amidst the pandemic and limited distance learning alternatives.

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Supporting a New Group of Community Youths for Vocational Training

MPRL E&P’s CSR Program launched a scholarship program for a new group of seven youths in Mann Field in December 2021. The scholarship enables the community youths to acquire quality and relevant technical and vocational skills training at No. (5) Industrial Training Center (Magway), which was set to reopen after a month-long closure amidst the pandemic and limited distance learning alternatives.

The scholarship selection process is based on a set of criteria openly announced in the communities. Out of 23 applications, seven were chosen as recipients of this scholarship program which covers their one-time enrollment fees, monthly stipends, and general expenses to study the 11-month courses in Automobile Maintenance and CAD/CAM.

According to the United Nation’s statistics, as much as 80% of technical and vocational training activities for youths and working adults across the world have been negatively affected by the coronavirus-induced lockdown and physical distancing protocols, thus resulting in implications and challenges for the post-pandemic economic recovery. In this regard, MPRL E&P’s CSR Program intends to support this recovery and mitigate the effects of the pandemic on community youths in Mann Field by continuing the provision of vocational training through its educational partnerships with local and regional resource organizations. It is also important that education and skills training programs are able to respond to the growing number of youths needing vocational skillsets including reskilling and upskilling opportunities for working adults.

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There is a total of six Industrial Training Centers, including No. (5) Industrial Training Center (Magway), set up across Myanmar under the Training Centers Supervision Department, Directorate of Industrial Collaboration of the Ministry of Industry, in order to train skilled workers for industrial sector development and to support human resources development. These centers are established with the cooperation of partner organizations from donor countries such as China, India, Korea, and Germany. Up to a total of 13 different courses are offered at the Industrial Training Centers. Let’s find out what these students have to say about the scholarship program, courses they are taking, and future dreams!

Ye Naung
Pauk Kone Village

I am 24 and I have completed the university entrance Matriculation Exam. I am looking forward to learning about the maintenance of automobiles such as cars, trucks, and buses at the Training Center. I chose this subject because I want to work in an auto service center or automobile factory in the near future. To be able to attend the vocational training course on Automobile Maintenance, I received a scholarship from MPRL E&P’s CSR Program, which covers both the school-related fees and my monthly expenses. I heard about this scholarship program from a former student who studied at the same Training Center and through him, I learned about the Training Center’s rules and regulations, as well as the preparations for the application and interview process. With his help, I was able to successfully round off the application process and enroll in the program.

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During the stay-at-home/lockdown period, I was stuck at home most of the time but now I am ready to start the program. I am excited to learn about automobile maintenance because I find it really useful and interesting and I see myself working in this field in the near future. I want to use my acquired skillset after finishing this program and one day, I would like to set up my own small business. Many youths in Mann Field are interested in this scholarship offered by MPRL E&P’s CSR Program and in my opinion, the scholarship program is an important initiative for youths’ access to livelihood opportunities.

Moe Hayman Tun
Mann Kyoe Village

I am 18 and I have studied up to Grade 11. I am studying the CAD-CAM course at No. (5) Industrial Training Center (Magway) due to my interest in working with computers and creating designs. I am hoping to get familiar with computers and learn how to use different software. As a scholarship recipient, the CSR Program supports me with a monthly stipend, dining and school enrollment fees, uniform, and other general expenses. I understand, through the former students, that the CSR Program also assists in finding job opportunities for fresh graduates.

After hearing about the availability of scholarships for community youths through the Village Administrator and Community Volunteer, I started looking for information about the Training Center and some basic knowledge related to the course that I want to pursue.

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During the outbreaks of the pandemic, I stayed at home and spent my time taking Japanese language classes and basic Computer classes online. I am excited to become proficient in computer software particularly in design and manufacturing processes and I want to become a person who is successful in my future endeavors. I am grateful for MPRL E&P for this wonderful initiative and the scholarships offered by MPRL E&P’s CSR Program are of great assistance for all the youths in the community. That is why it has become very popular among the younger generation who are eager to develop their technical skills and gain access to good job opportunities.

Ingyin Khaing
Mann Kyoe Village

I am 18 and I have completed the Grade 11 curriculum in terms of my formal education. At No. (5) Industrial Training Center (Magway), I am studying the CAD/CAM course. Since I am interested in computers and designing machines, I am hoping to receive technical knowledge and training on using specialized computer technology in the fields of operation and control of machines and processes.

The CSR Program supports me with a monthly stipend, enrollment fees, and other expenses to study at the Training Center. After hearing the news that the CSR Program was offering scholarships for youths to be able to study at No. (5) Industrial Training Center (Magway) from the Village Administrator and secretary, I prepped myself by seeking more information about the Training Center and hitting the books on industry basics, English, and Mathematics.

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During the lockdown period due to COVID-19, I helped my mother with household chores. I set aside time to study computer technology. I have a hobby in tailoring and design. I want to be able to acquire specialized knowledge and skills in creating designs using different programs and thereby become someone who can contribute to the development of the industrial sector of Myanmar. Such educational assistance of MPRL E&P’s CSR Program attracts the youth of all ages among the communities and I am confident that the program will only grow bigger in the future!

Khant Thu Tun
Lay Eain Tan Village

I am a First Year university student from Lay Eain Tan Village in Mann Field. Automobiles are always a fascinating subject for me and I am eager to gain knowledge and hands-on training on basic automobile maintenance skills related to engines, gears, and autobody.

The Community Investment Field Coordinator Daw Zin Mar Myint made a monthly visit to the Village Administrator and delivered information related to the training centers, rules and regulations, along with the courses offered. One month into attending personal interview sessions with the Training Center officials, she drilled us on the possible interview questions so that I became well-prepared for the interview. Through the Village Administrator, I found out that the CSR Program would provide financial aid including other sources of support in collaboration with the Training Center for the trainees-to-be.

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During the downtime due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I helped my family with household chores. Now I am determined to work hard and do my best to support my family financially in the near future. I would like to thank the CSR Program and MPRL E&P for their assistance in fulfilling all our needs and providing opportunities for vocational training. As youths, we will work hard to be able to contribute to building an industrialized thriving nation.

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Helping to Get Ready for Careers in Nursing Field

The educational partnerships spearheaded by MPRL E&P as part of the CSR Program for the host community in Mann Field provide opportunities for eligible youths in the community to acquire vocational and life skills, which they need to successfully transition to professional careers and adulthoods.

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Helping to Get Ready for Careers in Nursing Field

The educational partnerships spearheaded by MPRL E&P as part of the CSR Program for the host community in Mann Field provide opportunities for eligible youths in the community to acquire vocational and life skills, which they need to successfully transition to professional careers and adulthoods.

In the contract year 2020-2021 (April 2020 to March 2021), our CSR Team, in collaboration with a private training center namely Ayeyarwaddy Training Center in Minbu, continued its efforts in supporting three female students in their twenties from Mann Field (out of 15 applicants) to enroll in a 2-month nurse aide training course.

These selected students said that they found out about the open call for applications by MPRL E&P’s CSR Program through the Village Administrators. After discovering the selection criteria which included the requirements of applicants’ age to fall between the age bracket (18-30 years old) and must finish at least middle school level, the candidates handed over their applications to the CSR Field Team.

One of the applicants, Ma Za Lat Wah from Lay Eain Tan Village, shared her story by saying how she was so excited about getting accepted to the program. “I have always been interested in becoming a nurse aide and when I learned through the Village Administrator that MPRL E&P’s CSR Program was accepting applications for a nurse aide training course, I submitted my application right away. I was eager to learn about how to give good care to those who are ill including the elders and children. One day, I would like to run my own village clinic and provide health care services to the community.”

During the one-month practical training course at the Ayeyarwaddy Private Teaching-Training Center in Yangon, the three selected students learned new skills and knowledge including personal hygiene and basic clinical nursing skills, safety and emergency procedures, communication and interpersonal skills, which helped them with their roles in the health care sector.

Another trainee, Ma Hla Wut Yee Lwin from Let Pa Taw Village explained, “In terms of the practical portion of the course, I was excited to learn about a variety of studies which included things like nasal tube insertion, urinary catheterization, renal dialysis, pleural aspiration, blood pressure measurement, blood glucose testing, intravenous injection and infusion, and intramuscular injection. I also studied basic nursing care skills like how to take care of patients who suffered from a stroke and how to help them with rehabilitation exercises, body mechanics and perform home remedies.”

The two-month nurse aide training course prepares and enables the students to start working in health care within a couple of months after graduation. It enhances the job outlook for students like Ma Za Lat Wah and Ma Hla Wut Yee Lwin who landed employment with local pharmacies and clinics in the community.

The third and final student, Ma Moe Thandar Naing from Kywe Cha Village, also said, “Since completing the nurse aide training course, I have been working as an assistant to the trainer at the Ayeyarwaddy Training Center (Sub) in Minbu. I am happy that I could use my knowledge and skills right away after finishing the training course. Now at home, I feel more confident when taking care of my aging parents and neighbors, especially those with health problems. I am currently preparing to open a small pharmacy in my village.”

All three students have plans to further their knowledge and skills in the health care field to ensure a long-term impact in their community and secure a rewarding career. They expressed their gratitude regarding MPRL E&P’s CSR Program as below:

Ma Hla Wut Yee Lwin
Let Pa Taw Village

“I want to see other youths in the community to be able to gain similar knowledge and skills and I would like to see that MPRL E&P continue its CSR initiatives in the community. I thank the company for supporting me with the nurse aide training course and I hope that under-served youths in the community will have the same opportunities as well.”

Ma Za Lat Wah
Lay Eain Tan Village

“I wish MPRL E&P will continue supporting youths in the community and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to MPRL E&P and its CSR program, which have benefited many of us from the surrounding community in Mann Field.”

Ma Moe Thandar Naing
Kywe Cha Village

“MPRL E&P’s CSR initiatives have been very supportive among the young community and I hope they will continue to do so in the future.”

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Ma Hla Wut Yee Lwin
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Ma Za Lat Wah
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Ma Moe Thandar Naing

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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.”


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.