Corporate Social Initiative
With the motto “Strength of Myanmar”, KBZ Bank is recognized as the strongest, the most trusted financial
institutionand the largest philanthropic organization in the country. It is not the intention of KBZ Bank to maximize profits at all cost, but to be socially responsible as a corporation and thus toenrich the welfare of Myanmar society. To KBZ Bank, Corporate Social Responsibility does not end with making philanthropic donations but it extends to providing essential services for our people, providing jobs, paying taxes, committing to anti-corruption, organizational transparency, human rights, healthcare, safety and the protection of the environment.KBZ Bank has also became a proud member of the United Nations Global Compact and pledged to incorporate its Ten Principles to the Bank’s business operations and strategies. KBZ Bank has invested a total of Ks. 63 billion in its charitable donations and social initiative projects during the five-year span of the new Democratic Government of Myanmar, 2010-2015.
Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation
KBZ founded the award winning philanthropic foundation, the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation (BFMF), in 2008. The mission of the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation is to uplift the lives of the underdeveloped community members at the grass-roots level and to eradicate poverty in the long-run through its social initiative projects in five important sectors:
- Disaster relief and recovery
- Women’s empowerment and women’s health
- The Green Project
- Youth development and education enhancement
- Community development and community engagement
Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation Board Members
- U Aung Ko Win Patron
- Daw Nang Than Htwe Patron
- Daw Nang Lang Kham Chairperson
- Daw Nang Kham Noung Vice Chair
- Daw Khaing Mar Htwe Secretary
- U Nay Myo Aung Auditor
- Daw Sandar Tun Treasurer
- Daw Mya Sandar Member
- Daw Khin Myint Wai Member
- U Kyaw Swar Myint Member
Daw Nang Lang Kham, Co-Founder and Chairperson of Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation receives the Presidential State Excellence Award for FY 2013-2014 conferred by the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, U Thein Sein, for the Best Philanthropic Organization in Myanmar, which contributed the largest charitable donations to the development of the people and society in the country.
Disaster Relief and Recovery
Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation was conceived in the times of desperate need to help the victims of Cyclone Nargis. The cyclone hit the nation in May 2008 and it hit the hardest on those with little to lose and thus lost everything. The BFMF team helped the victims on the ground by bringing medical doctors, nurses, medicines, food and clothing to the victims. During the post-cyclone period, BFMF rebuilt 1000 houses for those who no longer had a roof over their heads.
Women’s Empowerment and Women’s Health
BFF provides computer training, business loans analysis training, leadership skills.
With its mission to uplift the lives of the underdeveloped community members at the grass-roots level, Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation provided microfinance loansand financial literacy programs to 6,130 community members in Helgu, Yikgyi, Shwe Pyi Thar, Hlaign Tharyar Townships in the regions of Yangon and issued loans to 4,200 businesses owned and run by women in the regions of Kalaw and Pintaya .
For the first year, an average of Ks. 100,000.00 loan is given to the beneficiaries of the program. After a successful first6months period, the person can receive an additional Ks.50,000.00 loan. Once the loan has been successfully repaid after the first twelve months, the size of the loan for year 2 increases to Ks. 200,000.00. BFMF also plans to increase the loan size to Ks. 500,000.00 for our third-year microfinance customers depending on their business size.
The BFMF team traveled to Lone Madi, on the outskirts of Yangon and distributed sanitary pads, provided medical check ups and gave talks on women's healthcare to approximately 1800 women in the area.
Women’s Forum Myanmar-ASEAN 2014
While the Women’s Forum Myanmar-ASEAN 2014 motivated and reassured the assertive business women at the forum to promote gender parity in the business world, the discussions at the forum opened up dialogues for the women warriors back home. Just as the paradigm shift happened at the Women’s Forum Myanmar-ASEAN 2014, KBZ is quickly evolving and effectively adapting to the changes as they arise. For one, through the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation, KBZ Bank was the main sponsor of the Women’s Forum Myanmar- ASEAN. Many of the acting female managing directors and directors took part as speakers and led the event. KBZ is never shy of appointing a female leader to represent our organization. In fact, no less than 65 percent of KBZ Bank’s employees are women, and as of 2014, over 50 percent are in senior management roles, compared to just 27 percent in 2009.
The Green Project
KBZ Bank and KBZ Group employees and BFMF team often spend a day planting seeds and cleaning beaches
Youth Development and Education Enhancement
The Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation (BFMF) provides scholarships to outstanding students based on merit regardless of race or gender throughout the country. BFMF Scholars come from diverse educational backgrounds and experience. They are enrolled in specialized universities all over the country and some scholars were sent abroad with an exchange program. From 1999 to 2015, a total of 450 KBZ Scholars graduated from Nursing, Economic, Nautical, Computer, Technology, Education, Medicine, Arts and Science, Fine Arts Universities with degrees ranging from a Bachelor Degree to a Ph.D.
The Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation takes pride in sending outstanding matriculation students to Japan for an exchange-visit annually in collaboration with Myanmar-Japan Association, which Chairman of KBZ Bank, U Aung Ko Win is a patron of the organization. BFMF has sponsored a total of 20 students for the 2013-2014 academic year and will send 20 more for the year 2014-2015. The Myanmar exchange students are interviewed and selected among students from states and regions who got the highest marks in the national exam. With the exchange program, they get to visit universities in Tokyo, museums and Northern Japan. The aim for the exchange program is to promote relations between two countries while rewarding the outstanding Myanmar students in the matriculation exam.
The team of Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation and Chairperson, Daw Nang Lang Khang often visits schools in the Southern Shan State to donate school accessories. They teach students teamwork, mathematics and participate in youth development activities.
Community Development and Engagement
On 29th November 2014 over 10, 000 participants – dubbed Music Runners™- walked, ran and danced for a 5km fun-run to their favorite beats at The Music Run™ by KBZ. Through the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation, KBZ Bank donated 100% of The Music Run™ registration sale proceeds to the Myanmar Association of the Blind, to help develop Myanmar Text to Speech engine software for the blind schools. This software enables individuals with visual impairments to listen to digital books on a computer in Myanmar language.
KBZ, the presenting sponsor, brought this entertaining run and after-party with the support of official sponsors Dagon City, Fortune, OK Myanmar, Scania, Wa Min Company, Gionee, 100Plus and Balance Fitness. The response that The Music Run™ received in Yangon was overwhelming, which exceeded the expectations of everyone on the KBZ team that worked on the event. The impressive number of participants demonstrated a strong sense of community that Myanmar people have for each other and a remarkable enthusiasm, desire and readiness to take part in international standard events. The memories created during the run will last a lifetime and we are certain that this is only the beginning of what awaits Yangon.
Water Supply Project
“A gift more precious and rare than gold”
- HeThame Padamya Hill Monk Ashin Oo Kaw Winda
With the financial investment of 2.4 million dollar from KBZ Bank, the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation implemented water distribution, management system and constructed tube-wells for towns and villages in the regions of the Southern Shan State. Twenty-years ago, UNDP dug wells in the same areas of Southern Shan State, but they were unsuccessful due to tough geological
conditions. According to the geologists at the time, a water-bearing zone was hidden under many layers of impenetrable lines of rocks, limestone, silt, clay, minerals and caves. Despite the problematic geophysical conditions, the Water Supply Project is now successfully operating in 16 neighborhoods of Kalaw, Bawsine, He`ho, Pindaya, Taungyi, Hopone and
Nansan City. It is providing drinking water for 30 villages including 14 monasteries, one hospital, and 19 schools. The efforts of the Water Supply Project have impacted the lives of 6771 families, 40,000 people in the 16 neighborhoods and 30 villages. Danu, Taung Yoe, Pa O, Shan and Bamar are some of the ethnic groups who are enjoying the clean water in the Southern
Shan State. It has successfully completed drilling 32 tube wells together with 108 water taps, and 51 water tanks. In one of the villages where the Water Supply Project has been implemented, there is a village called “Yay Bote”.
The literal meaning of “ Yay Bote” is “ Putrid Water”. The well in “Yay Bote” now produces 2,200 gallons per hour at 800 feet and the water is as clean as PH7.
In Kyauk Ni Village, the tube well by KBZ Bank is now producing clean water at 5,000 GPH which is the highest GPH producing tube well of the Water Supply Project. Despite the six failed attempts in the past by the former villagers, Kyauk Ni Village is nowenjoying fresh, clean water for the first time.
Graph of the tube-wells
The Voices of the Regional People
A Tube-Well Operator in Yay Bote Village, Bawsine
“ There are 380 families and 81 houses in the village. Many people are farmers who previously relied on the rain for their livelihood. We used to walk for a mile to a pond and collected water in buckets. The water from the pond was murky-red. We had no choice but to drink the murky-red water. Now we are drinking fresh water from the KBZ tube well that produces water as clean as PH7. There are 1 tube well and 3 water taps in the village. This is the first time in my entire life that we are able to consume clean drinking water and do not have to worry about it running out.”
A Student in Bawsine
“ I am the eldest of the three children in the family. I used to walk for half an hour to the pond, one and half miles away from my house 3 times a day to get water for domestic and personal use. It took away my time to study and finish the chores around the house like taking care of my younger siblings. Since I didn’t have enough time during the day, I studied at night by candlelight. Now, the water tank is 5 minutes walk from my house and I now have more time to study during the day”.
A Firefighter in Bawsine
“I recently had to put out a fire caused by burning leaves. I believe I was able to get to the destination fast and fully loaded with water because of the tube well being next to the fire station. And there was a water tap close to the house on fire. Nobody was hurt and I was glad we got there quickly and could refill water fast and efficiently.”
A Health Worker at the Free Clinic in Bawsine
“ I believe there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of patients with skin diseases and diarrhea after the successful implementation of tube wells and water taps throughout Bawsine. Many women used to present with urinary tract infections because of the dirty water they were using. Also women did not have clean water to bathe in after giving birth. So, there were many diseases that we could have easily prevented. Now that there is clean water, I personally feel that patients are much healthier and stronger from the clean environment they live in and the water they use.”
Brighter Future Myanmar FoundationFulfills its Civic Duties to Take Care of Fellow Myanmar Citizens in the Time of Need
The reincarnation of slavery is spreading like a wildfire in East Asia in the forms of forced or bonded labor or forced prostitution alongside scarcity of natural resources continentally. Based on the current report by the Voice of America, there are reportedly 20.9 million trafficked people in the world and 11.7 million people are from Asian Pacific areas. Myanmar children, women and men are trafficked to Thailand, China, Malaysia, South Korean and Macau for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced labor or bonded labor. Considering the fact that Myanmar is a transit country for trafficking of Bangladeshis to Malaysia and Chinese to Thailand, Myanmar was put in the alarming Tier 3 category of the most human trafficked country in the world by the United States Foreign Affairs in the Annual Human Trafficking Report. With the strict monitoring and steadfast attention from the current Democratic Government, the situation has visibly improved. Three years ago, United States Foreign Affairs reported Myanmar’s progress in much favorable Tier 2 category.
At this present historical moment when the current Democratic Government is doing everything they can to bring home those who have been trafficked and illegally migrated to the neighboring countries, the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation is supporting the government with unequivocal commitment in rescuing and repatriation efforts. Through the Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation, KBZ Bank bears all the expenses of chartered flights, rescuing and repatriation process for Myanmar migrant workers stranded in Indonesia, Malaysia and India.
As a continuing effort to fulfill its civic duties, KBZ is spearheading the rescue mission for over 500 trafficked and enslaved Myanmar fishermen in Indonesia for free of charge. With the charitable donations from KBZ Bank for six-hour chartered flights, Myanmar Airways International (MAI) brought back four planeloads of over 500 trafficked and enslaved Myanmar fishermen stranded on Tual, Benjina and Dobo Islands in Indonesia during May-June 2015. KBZ Bank also gave monetary support to each trafficking victims for their medical and psychosocial needs.
Midst of anxiety-ridden and frightening uncertainties, there was a long-awaited sense of relief that coexisted among the Myanmar fishermen repatriates. A man in his early thirties opened up to the KBZ Bank employees as his eyes were filled with tears of sadness and disbelief; I did not think that this day would come; the day I get to go home to Myanmar. My brothers died on the island; they died as they hoped for a return home. I gave up hoping for the impossible dream.
KBZ Bank plans to bring home the remaining trafficked Myanmar fishermen in Indonesia with chartered flights.
The Brighter Future Foundation has brought back 3000 Myanmar women and men migrant workers who were facing social conflicts in Malaysia on 10 individual trips with Myanmar Airways International (MAI) chartered flights. In addition, BFMF paid for MAI chartered flights to bring back 273 Myanmar fishery workers who were stranded in Port Blair, India to Myanmar.
The repatriation has been made possible with the support of the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Labor, General Administration Department, Myanmar Women Federation, Department of Immigration and National Registration, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Indonesian, Australian, United States and Norwegian governments.