Green light for bigger and better Myanmar Young Leaders Programme
Eight young men and women from different ethnic groups arrived recently in Wellington from Myanmar for a six month English language and leadership course at Victoria University.
Funding has been approved by the government for three years, plus ongoing in-country support through an annual conference in Yangon. The 2014 group is already making the most of opportunities offered in the city, attending talks and seminars, and taking up a range of extra-curricular activities like sports and art classes.
Since the programme first began in 2009, Myanmar has moved from a military dictatorship to take steps towards democracy – although this is still very fragile.
This year the programme, which is managed by UnionAID, will reflect the different challenges and opportunities posed by this shift, with a focus on democracy in action, conflict resolution, economics, human rights and research skills.
When they return home in December, they will join 23 programme alumni most of whom are working in positions of influence, helping Myanmar along the path to democracy.