Lydia Project

Credit Policy and Guidelines for Self Help Groups

1. Background

The state of Mizoram has an area of 21,087 sq. km with a total population of 891,058. The Mizos, Lai, Mara, Paite, Hmar, Pang, Bawm, Brus are the major communities in the state. Besides these native inhabitants there are a good number of migrants from Myanmar who live and earn in the state.

Baptist Union of Norway (BUN) with the assistance of Asia Pacific Baptist Aid (APBAid) took up development initiatives for the Chin IDPs who come from Myanmar to live and earn in Mizoram. Officials of BUN and APBAid visited Mizoram to assess the need and hold consultation with the Baptist partners in Mizoram on Feb 24, 2010. It was decided that a development project “Lydia project” be initiated for the benefits of these Chin IDPs and poor Mizos.

2. Vision, Mission and Objectives:

The project will work for all round development of Chin IDPs and marginalized Mizo families – spiritually, socially and economically. At the end of the project it is hope to see
(a)1000 poor families, 85% of them Chin IDPs find a stabilized livelihood; and
(b) create safe and thriving social relationships within among the Chin IDPs, and
improved relationship with the mainstream communities in Mizoram.
The project will motivate the poor section of the Chin IDPs and the poor Mizos, train them and facilitate cooperation so that they can develop themselves. It will attempt to create an effective economic channel to change the attitude and livelihood of the Chin IDPs and the poor Mizos. The project shall work primarily through Self Help Groups with the provision of socio-economic mobilizations and access to credits.

With this objective, the Lydia Project was inaugurated on 16th January, 2011 at the Central Beptist Church, Aizawl in which the Baptist Partners in Mizoram: Baptist Church of Mizoram, Lairam Jesus Christ Baptist Church and the Zomi Baptist Convention participated and signed the project contract.

In Lawngtlai and Saiha District, Lydia Project was carried out under the Lairam Jesus Christ Baptist Church. This years there are 9 Self Help Groups which are: one group in Chawntlangpui, Rulkual, Vanhne, Paithar, Saikah, El-Bethel each and three (3) groups in Kalvary (Lawngtlai). The Lawngtlai Lydia Project is taken care by our able Field Facilitator Miss H. Malsawmdawngliani and we hope that in the times to come, Lydis Project will extend to more villages and units so that through the Self Help Group more women from Myanmar who has resided in our lands become more independent and empowered.