An experienced TESOL lecturer for a number of years at EDENZ Colleges, she first brought the Kalaymyo request for microfinance to our attention after a teaching training trip to Myanmar in 2011. Experiencing first-hand the dire plight of a number of local families, she met people who believed they had the drive to succeed, but lacked resources to develop their small business ideas, mostly at a street market level. Rose and Tim decided they could do something to help some of these people to help themselves. They had travelled overseas previously to visit microfinance projects with Tear Fund, and appreciated how local entrepreneurs could be helped to better provide for their families with small loans and a little support.
Tim is an educator and trained as a teacher. He was founding Director of Edenz Colleges,which was established in 1989. That is a private tertiary institute with five colleges. When he heard of the need in Myanmar, Tim felt he could offer help using his business skills. Along with Rose, both felt that they could make a difference to the least advantaged in one of the least developed areas of Asia. They were introduced to microfinance in the Philippines and now had the time and interest in offering their organisational skills to people with business ideas. They have been the driving force in establishing the microfinance project in Kalaymyo.
Don is a trustee of SEAM Development. He is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in accounting and auditing for many years, starting his own practice in 1987. Don has written software packages which are used by the majority of accountants in NZ and is currently also a Product Manager with MYOB. He has a keen interest and involvement supporting projects that aid development overseas.
Frank has been working in the design, branding and marketing area for over five years. He is currently the Director of Brand Strategy in an education consulting company in Auckland. Frank was very inspired by the work Rose and Tim had been doing in Kalaymyo and started to be involved in SEAM’s brand development and communication work from the beginning. His role in SEAM is to facilitate the communication and marketing work in New Zealand, and to ensure the organisation is well equipped to execute the daily operation. The trip with Tim and Rose to Kalaymyo in 2016 gave him first-hand experience in the field and he would like to find more ways to tell the stories back in New Zealand.
Lal Run’s role as the Financial Manager is responsibility for maintaining the client accounts, savings and all financial records and bank accounts, as well as providing a monthly summary of client and SEAM accounts monthly to SEAM management in NZ. He has a BA from Kalay University and a BRE (Bachelor of Religious Education) and is married with three children (11, 10 and 2). He teaches geography and economics in 10 different boarding schools, in classes of 20-80 students, as well as being an after school tutor. A volunteer accountant at his church, he likes to support other people and races to develop socially and financially. He is also the treasurer for the Chin Social Fellowship, which supports people with illnesses.
Khin May Yi (Mary) has been invaluable as a translator, facilitator and adviser, as well as generously providing the use of her Bible College for microfinance training days for the clients.