A fruitful success story from Naung Ann Village, Naung Ann Village Tract, Kyaukme District, Northern Shan State.
The Villagers of Naung Ann village had for a long time suffered the effects of land grabbing and conflict in the form of occupational instability, depression, and fear. Then, beginning in 2018, they developed a broader perspective from BadeiDha Moe’s awareness training on land law, gender, and peace.
Local farmers need the opportunity to learn about what evidence is necessary to prevent a person or organization from illegally grabbing the land that they work on, and according to BadeiDha Moe’s field mentoring trips, they came to understand well about this. After attending the training, and from meeting with BadeiDha Moe, they could move forwards and had full confidence in themselves to hold meetings with respective government officials.
As well as this, at a Land Briefing held in 2018 by BadeiDha Moe at One Love Hotel in Kyauk Me, Members of Parliament, government officials, Labourers, Farmers, Youth affair committees, political parties, and ethnic armed organizations participated and discussed with the Naung Ann farmers about land grabbing in their village. Then, as a result, the army formerly located in Naung Ann village agreed to return 200 acres of farmland, of the 500 acres of grabbed land, to the villagers. Following this, in 2020, they received the celebratory news that 20 households in Naung Ann village had accessed Farmland ownership Form 7.
About eight months ago, we got back the land, not all of it; 20 households have received Form 7. This is because of BadeiDha Moe’s open-mind. I attended the land briefing, and I am thankful for benefitting from the opportunity to present as a farmer.
Since then, the Naung Ann villagers’ fears based on ethnic, and linguistic disunity; and power disparities have reduced and they have become so strong that they can negotiate with government departments themselves. Of the land grabbing affected farmers, the 60% who have had land returned are collectively the remaining 40% to get back their land. This is one of the fruitful success of BadeiDha Moe’s project, supported by the Joint Peace Fund, in a village of Northern Shan State.