Making their mark: Myanmar Young Leaders Programme (MYLP)
When they return to Myanmar, MYLP students are funded to undertake a small project in their communities. Below we have the impressive results of three of these managed by 2017 alumni and each achieved for less than $4000.
Job experience: Although they had a three hour trip both ways to work, nine rehabilitated drug addicts had 100% attendance as they picked up skills in baking, car maintenance, pig husbandry, and video and camera work. This work experience project was managed by Zaw Htu Khawng, whose major challenge was finding employers prepared to offer work. Naw San Min Thu, owner of the bakery, said the project had changed her negative attitude and she would encourage other businesses to hire reformed addicts. The uniqueness of this project was reflected in the widespread media interest on its completion.
Communal forestry: As part of an environmental thrust to reduce traditional ‘slash and burn’ cultivation, a fledgling communal forest was established in Shan state with 1800 trees planted. Managed by Thant Zin Aung, seventy participants from two villages were given training on the impact of forests to mitigate flooding, soil erosion and global warming; and the importance of reducing domestic logging. This project was built on information on natural resource management from New Zealand.
Youth leadership: A two day youth leadership forum managed by Cho Mar Win for 26 participants provided the impetus and support for five outreach projects. These ‘mini’ projects, which were developed by the forum participants and supported by Cho Mar, reached a total of over 800 people. Topics included recycling awareness, media literacy, youth and diversity, vocational education awareness and a social enterprise start up talk.