Lin Let undertook a make up and hairdressing course and has opened up her own beauty salon. Previously she was helping out on the family farm with her husband.

Now she has an extra income stream and can contribute to the household expenses.

“I have 5 family members; my husband, two sons, a daughter and me.

My husband and I both work to support our family. We do rice and betel farming and we breed ducks. We own 16 acres of land on which we farm. We inherited 3 acres of land from the parents of my husband and this has grown to 16 acres through our efforts. My husband and I lead our family together. My husband manages the family business and I am responsible for housekeeping and the children.

My family business condition was fair but we could not save much money. We did not have any other way to generate income.”

The course covered topics beyond practical training, as Lin Let tells us:

“I realised the difference between wants and needs after the life skills training. I used to buy things without thinking before if I wanted it. Now, I can understand what is important for me. After the gender awareness training, my husband and I developed a harmony in doing our housework and business.”

And the vocational and business training has also had transformational results:

“I attended hair and make-up training for one month. Although I was afraid of starting my own shop, I knew I could do well. Now I give my services to customers from my own village and four neighbouring villages. I do my work at home and also do house visits to cut customers’ hair in their homes.

I started my hairdressing shop 8 months ago, after the vocational training. I do not have much to do during the raining season, but in the summer and winter, I am busy. As a result of this project, I earn about 300,000 MMK (£128) a month and I can contribute to the cost of living of my family and my children’s education. I am very happy as I can generate income by my own hand, using my hairdressing skills. It is good for me that there is no one who is doing hair and make-up in this village. It is also good for the people in the village because they don’t need to go to the township to get their haircuts and they can save the cost of petrol to go to the township.”

And Lin Let’s sense of pride and accomplishment is palpable:

“I am glad myself when I hear that the customers like my services. Some of my friends who attended the training together with me left the project because they are not patient to wait for the activities. They feel sad when they see my achievements. They admire me. This is the consequence of patience. It has taken a lot of time to earn income by my own skill.”