Myanmar Young Leaders Programme (MYLP) Information for Candidates
Myanmar Young Leaders Programme (MYLP) Information for Candidates
What is the Myanmar Young Leaders Programme purpose?
The programme was developed by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, is managed by Unions Aotearoa International Development Trust (UnionAID), and reflects the commitment of both organisations to projects which promote and protect human rights, collective action, democratic decision-making and community participation.
The purpose of this programme is to build the knowledge and skills of the participants so they can help build the capacity and effectiveness of their sponsoring organisations. Participants in the programme will be expected to work collectively within the group and to promote co-operation between their organisations in building democracy in Myanmar on their return home.
The programme is funded by the New Zealand Government Aid Programme which has a mandate to support sustainable development in developing countries in order to reduce poverty and to contribute to a more secure, equitable, and prosperous world.
Where is the programme based?
The programme is based at Victoria University of Wellington. This is one of New Zealand’s leading universities. More information about the University can be obtained on www.vuw.ac.nz.
The programme will consist of a 25 week course and the objective is to provide you with additional English language and computer skills, knowledge of development studies and international relations, leadership skills, an experience of the principles and practice of democracy, and peace and conflict studies.
The purpose is to assist you to contribute to policy-making and practice within your organisations, to build greater cohesion between Burma non-government organisations, and to focus on increasing young women’s confidence and skills and developing more awareness by men of the importance of promoting women’s rights and political participation.
The part of Victoria University responsible for delivering your programme is the English Language Institute (http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/eli/). A teacher from this Institute works closely with you throughout your stay in New Zealand, teaching the orientation and tailored course and meeting with you regularly during the English Proficiency Programme (EPP).
What is the programme?
The MYLP programme will consist of:
- Two weeks orientation from 30th June until 9th July 2014 followed by a week’s break
- A thirteen week regular English language proficiency programme (EPP) from 16th July until 10th October 2014.
- Ten weeks of especially tailored classes for the group on the topics of development studies, governance, international studies, democracy and human rights, and peace and conflict studies. During this time there will be placements with government, social partner, community, and other organisations to provide first-hand experience relating to the above topics and/or additional specific skills or learning related to participants’ individual preferences. This programme will begin on the 20th October and end on the 18th December 2014. There will be a one week break from the 13th to the 17th October.
The main aims of the orientation are to familiarise you with the university campus, and resources available to help you with your learning. These first two weeks also provide many opportunities for you to get to know each other and begin working together. There will be opportunities for you to ask questions about what is expected of you living with a New Zealand family.
Through a variety of materials, activities and visits, you will also start to learn about:
- New Zealand life and culture
- The NZ Parliamentary system
- The NZ Council of Trade Unions and UnionAID as organisers of the programme
There is also the flexibility to include activities or events of particular interest or relevance to you that may happen in Wellington during this time. The orientation finishes with a session on the purpose, expectations and assessment on the English Proficiency Programme, so that you can feel prepared for the transition into this programme.
English Proficiency Programme (EPP)
The main aim of the EPP is to prepare students for whom English is a second language for tertiary study in an English language context. To do this, the course helps students to develop their ability to use English to understand and talk or write about complex ideas, and to understand the difference between studying in their own country and studying in New Zealand.
Classes are organised by English language level, so you will have the opportunity to learn with students from other nationalities at a level that meets your language learning needs and provides enough challenge to keep you motivated to improve.
The EPP is a full time course, which means there are scheduled classes from 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday, with one afternoon for regular progress testing, which usually includes vocabulary and either reading or writing.
For further details, see: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/eli/english-proficiency-programme.aspx
On some afternoons, UnionAID will organise short visits to community organisations so that you can start to develop an awareness of their governance and management issues, including funding, staff and volunteer training, service delivery and sustainability. These visits will happen after you have had some time to settle into classes and work out how you will manage your workload and independent learning.
The tailored course draws on a wide range of contributors (academic staff, governmental and community organisations, unions, and individuals) who have the expertise and enthusiasm to help you develop the knowledge and skills required for your current work and beyond.
There is a combination of classes, visits and placements to meet the specific outcomes of the programme listed below. Because of the learning partnership between you, UnionAID and the English Language Institute, there is the flexibility to adapt to your particular needs and interests as well as providing content which includes international relations, democratic governance, human rights and development, and peace and conflict studes. Opportunities for you to further improve your English language and communication skills are also included. You will all research an area of interest, write a report and give a presentation of your findings.
It is intended that the specific outcomes for you from the programme will be:
- an improvement in English language speaking, understanding, reading and writing
- a good understanding of:
- the theory and practice of development studies, with a particular focus on the challenges faced in Myanmar
- international relations, with a particular focus on Myanmar and the Asia Pacific region
- democratic governance at a national and international level, with a particular focus on possible options for Myanmar, and a knowledge of the New Zealand system including the emergence of the Maori Party in the New Zealand MMP environment
- international human rights including relevant UN covenants and ILO conventions and their processes of ratification and supervision.
- peace and conflict studies
- the role of social partners and civil society organisations in a democracy
- First-hand experience, through placements, of the working and place of
- the New Zealand Parliament, Government, and electoral system.
- the Human Rights Commission
- the Council of Trade Unions and trade unions
- the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori culture
- Business NZ and employers.
- Relevant Community organizations
- Women in New Zealand today
- the public education system
- The opportunity for individual interns to pursue your particular vocational interests and acquire relevant information and skills through intern placement with relevant organizations, educational visits and guest speakers to VUW course
- Positive social and cultural experiences, including Maori culture
- Increased confidence in public speaking and communication, and enhanced leadership skills.
The alumni of the 2009 – 2012 programmes all said how much their confidence to communicate with a wide range of people and organisations, from school children to members of parliament, had improved in the six months they spent in New Zealand.