The formation of Bawa Yay Thauk Myit Cooperative (BYTM) is one of the highlights of the Project. It has been proven that the methodologies used in the formation are effective, and cooperatives can be formed through a bottoms-up approach. Another indicator of its success is the fact that the people in the villages indeed have savings and these savings can be mobilized given the right motivation and methods.
Part of the Project activities is knowledge sharing where results would be imparted to other institutions that would be benefitted by the results. In this context the Conference on Cooperative Formation for Sustainable Financial Inclusion was held last June 2-3 at the Thingaha Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw.
The conference was attended by officers of the Department of Cooperatives headed by Director General U Aung Phyu. State and Division level Cooperative Officers attended and were joined by officers from the head office in Nay Pyi Taw. The Kayin State Minister of Agriculture represented the Kayin State government. Officers and staff of the Community Development Association (CDA) and the members of the Board of Directors of BYTM Cooperative together with the staff also attended.
Among the donor agencies represented during the conference were the European Union Delegation (EU), the main funder of the Project; the Livelihood Trust Fund (LIFT); and the Deutsche Gesselschaft fur Internationale Zussamenarbeit (GIZ). Several international non-government organizations (INGOs) also participated in the conference to include Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Asian Confederation of Credit Union (ACCU) and Malteser International.
Panel session speakers answering questions from the participants
Local NGOs included Phyu Sin Saydana Action Group (PSSAG), an NGO based in Hpa-an, Peace Winds Japan from Ayeyawardy Division and Pwint Pwint Lin Lin Cooperative from Paing Kyone sub-township.
Technical experts from PlaNet Finance presented the main topics, while CDA and the officers and staff of BYTM expressed themselves during panel sessions. Discussions were focused on the effectiveness of savings mobilization, the cost of the formation process which is necessary to determine replication activities and the strengthening of the cooperative.
Participants to the conference