Seeing the People in the Scenery

Ngapali Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world says: tripadvisor voters. This beach, the most expensive in Myanmar, is somewhat ironically located in Rakhine State, which is one of the poorest parts of the country. Not far from the beach, where foreigners rarely go, people live their entire lives unnoticed by the world outside. Seven kilometers up a narrow, dusty road that winds through quiet valleys planted with rice and rubber trees you will find the sleepy town of Thandwe. Thandwe is the location of Opportunities NOW’s newest branch office. Our branch manager and his wife have the distinction of being the only foreigners living in the town, and our school has the distinction of being one of the only trainings of any kind in the area. Other than a few computer shops offering occasional computer skills training, the people of Thandwe must bus 12 hours to Yangon to get quality further education. This is why we are excited about the location. Just because there is no training doesn’t mean people aren’t doing business, and just because youth can go to Yangon for jobs doesn’t mean they wouldn’t rather stay with their families and homes. Youth just like Thet Su Su Nyein, who a few weeks ago became the first youth business launch from the new Thandwe office. Thet Su Su Nyein used our training and loan to open a first of its kind fashion shop on the main road. She knows exactly who the customers are in the town who have been waiting for a shop like hers to open. We are thrilled by the opportunities this business will give her as she realizes potential that no one else has ever called out of her.