Building Democracy in Burma
With the moves towards democracy in Burma the value of UnionAID work there and on the Thai-Burma border is being realised.
The UnionAID Young Community Leaders programme which brings six young Burmese leaders to New Zealand each year has been very successful and will next year be doubled to twelve students. In conjunction with Victoria University this programme provides an intensive English language course as well as development studies, international relations and democracy in action.
The seventeen alumni from our programme are working in key roles back in Burma or on the Thai border, mainly in community development and youth work, and UnionAID is supporting their work with small field work projects which enables them to build on the skills and knowledge they have gained in New Zealand.
This programme, which is supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme, is making an important contribution to building the capacity of future leaders in a democratic Burma.