Young Leader’s field projects underway in Myanmar
Seven alumni of the 2015 Myanmar Young Leaders Programme have been awarded funding to run small field projects back in Myanmar. These projects provide an opportunity for the alumni to continue to develop their leadership, research and management skills while helping their local community. Each project is also supported by the alumni’s community organisation in Myanmar. The field projects all involve community education and will contribute to Myanmar’s peaceful transition to democracy and continued development. The funding for these projects is provided by the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the MYL Programme.
Aung Lwin’s project aims to stop the release of polluted water and mining wastes near Kanbauk Village by building dialogue between the community and mining company. 40 local people will be trained in mining law and from this group 10 will be selected to lead a public seminar bringing together the community, activist groups, legal experts and the mining company staff to discuss the issues and steps to reduce the environmental and health impacts of the mine.
Frank’s project aims to help the three key civil society organisations in Lautu work together in a more collaborative and effective manner in order to better support the development of Lautu communities. A four day training workshop will bring together 30 members of Lautu Kilven Bu, Lautu Youth Fellowship and Lautu Students Family to learn about leadership, management, rule of law, how to register their associations and opportunities for collaboration.
Nang Kham Ying Nong
Pollution from communities and mining companies alike is seriously impacting water quality in Shan state, in particular the famous and picturesque Inlay Lake is suffering from pollution and dropping water levels. Nong’s project aims to raise awareness of the importance of good water and waste management amongst citizens in 10 Shan cities. She will invite 20 young people to attend a 5 day training course on water and waste management practises including some lessons drawn from sessions with Massey University staff during the MYLP. Site visits will be made to Inlay Lake and the participants will be trained to educate their own communities about good water management practice.
Khun Khit San
The 2015 national election was Myanmar’s first fully contested democratic national election in nearly three decades, as such voter education was important to meaningful participation for many in the election. Khun Khit San’s project recruited 4 young people from the Kaung Rai Social Action Network with expert training on voting and election issues over 3 days prior to the election. They were then able to share this training and knowledge with 2400 people from 19 villages in southern Shan State.
Myat Kyaw Thein
Cyclones and floods have had a devastating impact on the small village of Lu Taw Su in the Ayeyarwady delta with many lives lost. Myat’s project aims to help the people of Lu Taw Su develop their own disaster management plan and practices to reduce the deadly impact of future cyclones in the area. The project will follow NZ Civil Defence’s 4 R’s strategy by establishing a village committee, identifying disaster risks, planning responses and implementing drills.
Thu Rein Hlaing
Thu Rein’s project aims to develop a cohort of young people in Dawei who are politically aware and change makers in Myanmar’s transition to democracy. Over a nine week part-time course 15-20 young people will complete training modules on personal/professional development, state building and regional political issues. The project hopes to form a strong network of young people who are critical thinkers, working towards the democratisation and development of Myanmar and the Dawei area.
Wutyi’s project aims to enhance the capacity of volunteers so they can more effectively contribute to the development of their local communities and gain opportunities for future employment. Twenty people volunteering for Good Neighbours International on one of their current projects will participate in 3 weekends of training that will draw on Wutyi’s experiences of volunteer management in NZ organisations. The training will focus on participatory learning skills and understanding the project management cycle. This knowledge will help the participants better understand their current roles and also provide them with skills that will be helpful to gaining permanent employment in the future.