Inclusive churches Myanmar




100 churches & communities inclusive towards vulnerable people




100 churches & communities inclusive towards vulnerable people

Project story

Inclusive churches making inclusive communities

Many people in Myanmar have developed disabilities due to war and diseases like leprosy. In the Shan, Mandalay, and Bago regions, 12.8% of people have a disability. These people are discriminated against badly, and often are extremely poor. The last years, there were hit hard by the combined political and COVID-19 crisis. They lack a place where they can go to for care and support within their local community.

The Leprosy Mission Myanmar will execute the project locally. The goal of this project is that at least 60 local Myanmar churches have become inclusive to people affected by leprosy or disability and are serving the most vulnerable in their communities.

The Diaconal Community Leadership project started in January 2022. There are many people with disabilities in Myanmar, several of which are affected by leprosy. For most of these people, it is hard to be recognized in their communities. This exclusion can prevent that they have any income, which causes them to be in a cycle of poverty.

‘We believe local churches can and should play a key role in serving the most vulnerable. This project focuses on enabling local churches to serve the needs of persons with leprosy or disability. In this practical way church can share the love of Christ in their community.’ – The Leprosy Mission (TLM)

The Diaconal Leadership project aims to stop this cycle. The local church should be the place where everyone is welcome and able to join. Training of local leaders and pastoral people made them aware that inclusion of people with leprosy and disabilities are part of the work of Christ. Through this awareness they made space for people with disabilities and/or leprosy in the churches. This way these people can also become a part of their churches and communities. At the same time, the other people in the communities can be informed by the churches about ways to be more inclusive to people with disability and leprosy.

The project provided Disability Inclusion Training to Church Leaders from around the country. These leaders have been taught how to make their churches accessible to people with disabilities and how to include them in all church activities. They also learnt some basic disability care, and how they can recognize leprosy cases. This way they are able to refer people with leprosy to the hospital.

The project is exceeding its original goals since at this moment already 93 churches are involved in the project. From these churches 217 people were trained on disability inclusion and leprosy. The church leaders are now ready to implement a church-based rehabilitation program. Church leaders from previous trainings have shared their experiences on church-based rehabilitation program. Participants were able to ask questions on what the biggest challenges are when setting up a church based rehabilitation program. They also discussed how they could share roles and responsibilities among church pastor and church elders. Overall, this meeting  has empowered the church leaders to understand church-based rehabilitation activities as integral mission.

As a result of the project over 500 pastors and church members from about 100 churches are capable and active in serving persons with leprosy and a disability in their community. This leads to more inclusion, care and livelihood opportunities for thousands of vulnerable people that are part of the communities all these churches belong to. Through these services people will experience the love of Christ in word and deed. This project is designed in such a way that can be scaled up or extended to have more impact!

The total project costs are in total $ 60,000 of which Leprosy Mission could cover the first $ 28,000 with its own partners. For the remaining part they requested the help of MissionInvest USA. Because this project fully met the requirements of MissionInvest USA, we have approached one of our donors in our network. We are grateful this particular donor has fully awarded our requested funding for this amazing project by providing a grant of $ 32,000.


‘I highly recommend collaborating with MissionInvest USA for their excellent communication, valuable feedback, and support. They played a significant role in funding our project and contributed to the positive impact that local churches are making in Myanmar, particularly in the lives of people affected by leprosy and disability. Our collaboration was very positive, and we are grateful for their help. If you’re looking for a partner to collaborate with on your social impact project, I strongly suggest considering Wim Hasselman and MissionInvest USA.’ – Klaas Evers, Leprosy Mission Netherland

Project impression

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