Myanmar in Denmark – Living and studying in the happiest country in the world

Students of Silkeborg Højskole on their Tour de Denmark November 2016. Lu Maw Naing to the right and Naw Briana and Ei Zin May Phoo in the middle of the group.

Ei zin May Phoo fra Myanmar er i Danmark et halvt år, hvor hun går på Silkeborg Højskole. Læs med her, hvor hun på engelsk beskriver, hvordan hun oplever Danmark.
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Ei Zin May Phoo from Myanmar is in Denmark for half a year, where she attends a course at Silkeborg Højskole. Read her blog post about how she sees Danmark.

By Ei Zin May Phoo

By the grace of God, Lu Maw Naing (YMCA), Naw Briana (YWCA) and I, Ei Zin May Phoo, (Shalom Foundation) got the chance to study at Silkeborg Højskole in Denmark. The school is like a boarding school where all students study, eat, play, and have fun together. It is such a great pleasure for us being together with 11 different nationalities and learn about their cultures and traditions.

We are together with people from different countries and so we have different ideas, ways of thinking, norms, and standards. We learned how to accept different points of views and how to work together with different people. We went to the FDF senior course and learned how volunteers were working hard to make a better society. I believe, I have changed a lot in good ways because of the trip. I am becoming more patience, getting better at team work, and more able to accept different opinions and thoughts. I have become more optimistic and can accept others’ culture (Although some cultures are totally upside down with our cultures). For young people, it is really nice and great being together with other young people in the same place for four months. We fight, argue, work together, laugh together, and above all, we learn from each other. We care about each other and share responsibilities. We become more mature and can solve the obstacles and problems very calmly.

Youth Empowerment and youth involvement

We study Youth Empowerment as our main subject, which is the only subject in English. In addition, we can choose optional subjects and existential subjects. I chose to study Photo, Graphic, outdoor light, and Danish for international as my optional subjects; and Intercultural learning and Game theory as my existential subjects. In the optional subjects like Intercultural Learning, Game Theory and Danish for Internationals we are mainly international students. When I chose the subjects, I chose the ones I could use back in Myanmar. For some subjects, even though I like the them, it is not possible to get the materials in Myanmar. In those situations, I needed to think about another subject I like second most.

Most of the time, we are together with our main subject group. In the group, we create projects, go to the FDF camps, and play games. We learn about group dynamics: How different individual can work together as a group, Leadership skills: How to lead and how to follow, Social capital: The glue that holds the society together, How volunteering and youth organizations benefit the society, and Youth Participation, which focusses on the different levels young people can get involved in decision making processes. Also, we had a visitor from the Danish Youth Council (DUF), who taught us how DUF works in Denmark.

We took part in FDF senior course, where we talked with the leaders from FDF and learned how they manage camps. Finally, we created an international evening, where everyone could enjoy traditional music, dance, food, and Skype with the different people from different countries.

Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world with cold weather and beautiful nature. Lu Maw Naing, Naw Briana, and I easily got used to of everything here – except for the food, ha ha (Myanmar people eat rice every day, but the Danish people eat bread every day). If you want to know about other countries, you can google them or read about them in books, but nothing can make you understand countries and their culture better than staying in that country and being together with the people from that country. This is want to share with you.

Lu Maw Naing, Naw Briana, and Ei Zin May Phoo trying canoeing for the first time. 

Whether you are raised in Denmark or Myanmar

In Denmark, there is no difference in living standards between the big cities and the country side. Everyone has the same facilities. In Denmark, most of the young people are really fond of volunteering. They spend their free time being volunteers.  They also love travelling, and almost all young people travel around the world when they are 19 or 20 years old, often after they finish high school. Denmark is also one of the only countries where you can get paid when you go to university. The education system is excellent. In schools and universities in Denmark you can discuss your opinions and ask questions to your teachers. You don’t need to say “Yes” whenever the older people speak.

Young people are having fun and drinking when they think that it is time for them to relax. They can control themselves and never get drunk all the time. They pay full attention when it comes to work. They are punctual, and you can rely on them when they promise you that they will do something for you.

Lu Maw Naing and Ei Zin May Phoo at a Christmas party with friends from Silkeborg Højskole

Whether we were born and raised in Myanmar or Denmark, we all have the same talents and abilities to make our society better. What make us different is the way we are brought up and the supports we are given. Most parents in Denmark are ready to support their children in what they are good at, while most parents in Myanmar are directing us to do what they want us to do. As a result, young people from Denmark know where they want to go in an early age, while we are wondering about where we should be. The way Danish parents nurture their children makes them independent and confident young people. Most of them know what they want to be and get the chance to work towards their goals.

Thank you so much

School finishes in December, and then we will go back to Myanmar. I came to Denmark as a representative from my organization, Shalom Foundation. When I go back, I will go back to my organization and apply what I have learned in Denmark. I want to be a part of building peace in my country. I will also be at Foundation for Change in my free time and contribute what I have got to my fellow young people.

We are so glad that we are here, and we hope we can apply what we have learned here when we go back to our home country. Thank you so much to everyone who gave us a chance to explore the world.

Minglabar Myanmar som case

Minglabar Myanmar er ikke bare et projekt, der bliver lagt mærke til i FDF og KFUM og KFUK. I efteråret har DUF (Dansk Ungdoms Fællesråd) sendt en længere rapport til Udenrigsministeriet (UM)for at argumentere for hvordan støttekronerne bruges. Her blev Minglabar Myanmar brugt til at vise hvordan internationalt engagement kan bruges i formidling og aktiviteter hjemme i Danmark også. Herunder følger case-beskrivelsen fra DUF til UM:

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Jeremiah og May, ungeledere fra Myanmar i Minglabar Myanmar gennem DUF, på Ungdommens Folkemøde i september.

 

Myanmarprojekt skaber aktiviteter lokalt i FDF og KFUM og KFUK 

FDF og KFUM og KFUK har forenet kræfterne i det store projekt ”Minglabar Myanmar – Fundament for Forandring”, som støtter frivillige unge i at engagere sig i Myanmars civilsamfund. Gennem projektet får frivillige i Myanmar nye kvalifikationer og motiveres til at støtte landets demokratiske udvikling. For de danske foreninger er de internationale resultater dog kun ét af to ben i projektet. For partnerskabet giver i lige så høj grad værdi både lokalt og nationalt for de to foreninger, fortæller Andreas Gammelgaard, der er formand for projektet i FDF:

”Det skaber stor værdi for vores forening og giver os større berettigelse. Vi er engagerede i de lokalsamfund, vi er en del af rundt omkring i Danmark, men vi er også engagerede i den verden, vi er en del af. Vi kan videregive vores erfaringer med foreningsarbejde til unge i Myanmar, men med partnerskabet lærer vi også enormt meget selv.”

Årlige udvekslinger mellem frivillige i henholdsvis Danmark og Myanmar bidrager til det omfattende oplysningsarbejde. Desuden har foreningerne udviklet 25 aktivitetskasser, som kan udlånes af lokalforeninger og kredse i hele Danmark. Kasserne indeholder både ting fra Myanmar og beskrivelser af aktiviteter fra og om Myanmar med vedledninger til at engagere forskellige aldersgrupper. Også flere regionale og nationale arrangementer i 2015, så som kurser målrettet de 15 til 18-årige i FDF og lederkurser i begge foreninger, har haft projektet som tema med undervisning i, hvordan projektet formidles til børn og unge. På den måde engageres børn og unge løbende i samtaler om, hvordan det er at leve et andet sted i verden, og hvorfor det er vigtigt at støtte udviklingen af et frivilligt foreningsliv i Myanmar og udviklingen af det nye demokrati.

”Med vores partnere i Myanmar lærer vi sammen på tværs af landegrænser om det gode lederskab, projektplanlægning og afvikling af aktiviteter for børn og unge. Det giver en helt særlig oplevelse af fælleskab. Samtidig bliver vi nødt til at reflektere over vores værdier, og hvad det egentlig vil sige at være frivillig og engageret. Det styrker vores organisationsfortælling og udvikler vores forening,” fortæller Andreas Gammelgaard.

Youth Leader Jeremiah – om udfordringer ved at være ung i Myanmar

Young and Century Challenges in Myanmar
My country, Myanmar, is a developing country that is in the process to become a peaceful democracy. The process is moving slowly and Myanmar is still quite far from reaching the goal. One of the main problems is the fact that locals really don’t understand what is democracy, yet.
In the following, I will describe some of my opinions about the main problems for the youth in my country. If the youth did a group discussion about the problems and challenges that the youth in Myanmar faces, there could be many ideas and opinion of how to change our lives. The youth has never had this opportunity, so we really don’t know which opinions and ideas we share.
Now, Daw* Aung San Su Kyi is trying to change the education system and empower youth. We all believe in her, but she is not a Goddess that can change Myanmar by herself. Everyone has to participate, but not everyone does, because they don’t know how. People from Myanmar are waiting for change and blame the government when nothing happens. Not many of them take action themselves. Our Foundation for Change (FFC) is trying to especially empower young people who want to be leaders and make a change in Myanmar.

*Daw is something you call people to show respect (for women “Daw” and “U” for men).

<em>Saw Jeremiah, 20 år, kristen, fra Pathein, bor nu i Yangon
Saw Jeremiah, 20 år, kristen, fra Pathein, bor nu i Yangon 

My name is Saw Jeremiah and I am 20 years old. Saw (for male) represent Karen ethnic group in Myanmar. I have finished high school and studied History through distant education at Pathein University. The level of education is very normal in Pathein. I was born in Pathein Township, the country side of Myanmar (the Delta region) where a lot of Karen people and Burmese live mixed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeremiah spiller meget fodbold. Det er hans måde at koble fra efter en travl dag
Jeremiah spiller meget fodbold. Det er hans måde at koble fra efter en travl dag

People from Pathein are very simple and very respectful to their religion – mostly Christians and Buddhist live in this region – and they are kind of conservators of the religion, culture, and tradition. As I am a 90s kid, I was not influenced by the technology that are popular nowadays until 2013, because we were raised at underdevelopment period. I was raised up in a Christian community, which is almost disconnected from the country situation, as if politics is not our business. I used to learn just how to worship the Lord, to follow the Christ ways and to maintain my language (Karen) and culture.

<em>Jeremiah fejrer Karen nytår med vennerne, iført traditionelt Karen tøj
Jeremiah fejre Karen nytår med vennerne iført traditionelt Karen tøj

 

 

My parents are also raised in a Christian based society, though my father less than my mothers. My father is half Buddhism because of his father. My mother finished her school with Theology and she became a missionary but she is retired now. My father works as a church keeper and also as a writer, writing religious articles in a Christian based magazine. But now, they just live a very simple as I planned to do when I get older.
When I was 16 years old, I joined YMCA in Pathein, by supporting and empowering of YMCA I changed a lot, especially my mind set. It is never good to stay the same without changing. I have to change myself first, then I can change the society. That’s why I try to change myself to be more educated, but feel sometimes I am in trouble because I don’t have enough basic education or maybe I’ve don’t try hard enough. Last year, I moved to Yangon to study and my culture view also changed. For example, I used to think girls who wear short skirts and hang out at night were sex workers, because that is what I’ve learn from my society in Pathein. Now, I realize that being good does not depend on wearing traditional clothes. It only depends on how they behave. I am changing a lot and I am becoming more open minded. And in the future, I am probably going to change more and more, but dream about a simple life in Pathein will stay the same.

<em>Jeremiah og en veninde til hendes graduation for Community Leadership training iført traditionalt Karen beklædning</em>
Jeremiah og en veninde til hendes graduation for Community Leadership training iført traditionalt Karen beklædning

But this – the life of Jeremiah – is not what I want to talk about today. Instead, I want to express my opinion about what problems the youth in Myanmar are facing nowadays. The topics I would like to talk about in this post are as followed:
1) The education system
2) The influence of the social media
3) Unsafe and insecure
4) The conservative people of Myanmar
At first, I just want to make it clear that the following is not the ending truth. It is my opinion only, which is based on my experiences and impressions from life in Pathein and Yangon.

The Education system
In my opinion, one of the main problems is the education system. For parents, grades are important. Parents force their children to get very high grades in school, so they can become doctors or engineers, and in that way, they will earn more money when they graduate. The students aren’t learning anything about critical thinking or how to express one’s opinion.So even though some young people have an education, they won’t gain from it inlife. And after theirgraduation, they will focus on doing something that makes it possible for them to take care of their families. This is normal in our society.
Both the students and the parents respect the teachers, but mostly they fear the teachers.The norm is that the teacher is always right. The opinions, views, and perspectives the teacher presents andtalks about are maybe fine, but they’re not ours. And if we don’t do it the way the teacher thinks is the best, we get scolded and it will have a bad influence on our grades. That’s why the students never dare to express their opinion or ask if they don’t understand. Most of the time, we don’t understand what we are taught, we just memorize it. This kind of education has a very bad influence on our generation because it is killing the creativity of young people.

The social media influence
In early 2013, Myanmar was introduced to the smart phone. Now the smart phones are almost everywhere and everyone has one.
In my point of view, theyoung are damaged by the smart phones and they have become addicted to Facebook and others social media. On social media, they see something and they want to try in real life. For example, some found a sex page onsocial media,and they tried before they were adults, which could lead to teenage pregnancy and early marriage. Some young people just spent their days and nights on social media, addicts on social media. They try to connect the world by the social media and they lost the connection to the real world. They even don’t know who their neighbors are. Instead of real life they care for their reputation on Facebook.
Social media could be a tool for mobilizing young people, but the youth is using it in a wrong way. They don’t care about political or social events for change on Facebook and will not show up. They are influenced by what they read on social media and forget to be critically thinking about what is right or wrong. The youth is the future of our country, but they live on social media.

Unsafe and Insecure
Myanmar people are in general very friendly, and the hospitals are good. But the percentage of the crime level in Yangon is quite high. In the previous election period,the government released political prisoners including the criminals, they thought would change for better. After that, I have heard about so many crimes around Myanmar from social media and the people around me, and the crime rate has increased. These stories make me feel unsafe and insecure. I’m originally from Pathein where the criminal rate is pretty low, so I feel safer when I’m back home with my family. I feel like a need to be more careful in Yangon.

 

The conservative people of Myanmar
“You are younger than me, I’m older than you”,this is a sentence you hear a lot when you’re younger. It’s a sign of overprotection or an excuse for not letting the youth be involved in society. Some elder people are awareof the power of the youth and they are trying to empower youth, but others are still very conservative in their view on the youth. They don’t believethe youth can do anything.
In my point of view, the elder people in Myanmar are conservative. Although Yangon is becoming more flexible and progressive, in our country, we have cultural conservatives and religious conservative. I don’t think it’s a problem to maintain the culture, but the problem is holding on to old values of the culture in a developing world. Culture is important – all cultural things should be maintained; the language, the traditional cloths, and the spirit. The elder people, who hold on to old values, control the youth. The young people have respect for the elders and listen to their advice. Elders in Myanmar are precious, because they take care of us until we are ready to take care of them. In Myanmar it is part of the culture that young people stay with their parents until they get married – they might even stay after marriage. Because we depend on our elders, we have to listen to them. When the conservative elders tell the young people to follow old religious or cultural values, they block the youth’s future, their creativity, their ideas, and their passion. The conservative people have a proverb: “the thought of women could not go through the top of the roof.” What they mean is, whatever women do, they can’t control their own life or have influence. And that point of view, I believe, is a big problem for development.
Some elder people are very good at leading youth and youth love them – but far from everyone does that. The elder people should empower youth, and they should advise us, not be the controller or the decision-making. The reason that a lot of the youth don’t participate in society is because of the elder, conservative people. Young people in Myanmar are very dependent on their parents or elder people, and when these people want it to stay this way, they make sure that this dependence continues – and then the youth will never create new ideas.

En almindelig, ualmindelig dag som praktikant i Myanmar

Nina Borgen er ny praktikant ved Foundation for Change – et af de projekter, Minglabar Myanmar støtter i Myanmar. Hun er landet i yangon og fortæller her om en almindelig, ualmindelig dag som praktikant i Myanmar.

Så er en ny praktikant landet hos FFC i Yangon i Myanmar – og det er mig. Mit navn er Nina, jeg er 23 år og praktikant hos FFC på mit 7. semester på statskundskab. Jeg ankom for en uge siden og er godt i gang med arbejdet hernede.

Før jeg ankom, var det svært at forestille sig, hvordan en hverdag ville se ud hernede. Men nu er jeg i gang, og derfor tænkte jeg, at jeg også vil vise dig min hverdag – eller i hvert fald et udsnit af den.

Derfor får du et indlæg om en helt almindelig ualmindelig dag som praktikant. Almindelig, fordi det giver et godt billede af min hverdag hernede. Ualmindelig, da ingen dage hernede er ens – og det er det, der gør det så spændende, afvekslende og fedt at være praktikant.

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Kl. 8.00: Ringeuret ringer. Morgenmaden står på noget yoghurt, et æble og et æg, som jeg har kogt i min elkedel. Salt til ægget, kaffe til min træthed og vand til min krop skal der selvfølgelig også til. Jeg har god tid, så kan nå at læse et kapitel i min igangværende skønlitterære bog.

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Kl. 9.00: Jeg sidder i en taxi på vej til møde. Trafikken er et helvede på dette tidspunkt af dagen, og da jeg skal ret langt væk, må jeg hellere tage af sted i lidt ekstra god tid. Var et godt valg, da vi havde problemer med at finde stedet.

Kl. 10.00: Møde hos ActionAid, som er en af vores samarbejdspartnede. Alle er lidt forsinket udover mig – jeg kom 9.59, lige til tiden. Men ”Asian-time” vænner man sig til.  Billy, min kollega, og James, trainee hos ActionAid, ankom efter ganske kort tid. Mødet omhandlede vores fremtidige partnerskab, og hvordan vi kan samarbejde bedst muligt.

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Kl. 13.00: Billy og jeg tog ud og spiste på en lokal burmesisk restaurant. Derefter flyttede vi videre på café med wifi og researchede på de nyeste visum-regler – som ikke helt nemme at hitte ud af. Det tager en del af min tid disse dage.

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Kl. 15.00: Jeg tager toget hjem, da vi alligevel er i nærheden af en station. Det er også hyggeligt, taxier er der jo ikke noget yderligere charmerende ved, for chaufførerne kan alligevel sjældent mere engelsk end at sige prisen og tak. Derudover er togturen billig – 100 kyat (hvilket er omkring 50 øre).

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Kl. 16.00: Jeg går hjem fra stationen, og vejret er skønt! Nu når det er regntid, og det er Myanmar, hvor solen går ned omkring kl. 18, nyder jeg virkelig bare de tidspunkter på dagen, hvor det hverken regner eller er mørkt. På vejen smutter jeg forbi en ny boghandel, jeg opdagede forleden aften. Jeg skal i anledning af mit praktikophold skrive en såkaldt ”individuel politologisk seminar opgave”, hvilket er et krav fra Institut på Statskundskab på Aarhus Universitet, når man er i praktik. Jeg har valgt at skrive om Myanmar under emnet  ”National building”. Derfor har jeg brug for en god bog til at få helt styr over Myanmars (/Burmas) historie. Har været i flere boghandlere, hvor der ikke lige har været så mange engelske bøger. Men i dag fandt jeg en bog, jeg helt sikkert kan finde nyttig!

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Kl. 17.00: Med en kop kaffe, min nye bog og ubesvarede mails tager jeg lige en time på kontoret.

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Kl. 19.30: Mødes med nogen af mine nye venner, som jeg mødte på en bar sidste weekend. Der er nogen barer i Yangon, hvor der nærmest kun er NGO-folk. Det er dejligt at kunne tage ud og møde en masse, hvis nuværende liv i høj grad minder om ens eget; arbejdende i en NGO i et fremmed land langt væk fra familie og velkendte venner. Denne aften tog vi på en fantastisk indisk restaurant, hvor vi var 10 som delte en masse forskellige mindre indiske retter (Restauranten hedder AV’s: virkelig anbefalelsesværdig!). Både England, Indien, Tyskland, Filippinerne, Frankrig og, selvfølgelig, Danmark, var repræsenteret ved den forsamling.

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Kl. 22.30: Vi tog videre på en bar, som jeg aldrig har været på før. Den viste sig at være ca. 500 meter væk fra der, hvor jeg og de to danske Youth Leathers skal bo. Her mødte jeg endnu flere NGO-folk. Der er så få af “vores slags” i Yangon, at det er nærmest er som et lille ”community”. Det var en skøn aften! Jeg skulle tidligt op næste dag, så det blev til en enkelt genstand og en masse snak, før jeg smuttede hjem omkring kl. 12.

Burmesiske frivillig deltog i Wonderful Days

DENNE SOMMER VAR 13 FRIVILLIGE UNGE BURMESERE I DANMARK FOR AT DELTAGE I FDF’S LANDSLEJR OG KFUM OG KFUK’S WONDERFUL DAYS. Fem AF DE FRIVILLIGE DELTOG I Wonderful Days – LÆS DERES OPLEVELSER MED DERES EGNE ORD LIGE HER.

We five people from Myanmar came Denmark for “Wonderful Days Festival” which was held from 6th to 10th July. The Wonderful Days Festival is such a great wonderful event as its name goes on. There are more than fifteen hundred participants with many international youths.

Blog WD5

The volunteers are very active, responsible and talented. We got many new ideas and experiences which we can apply in our daily life. We had a date (a small chat) with Danish youth at tree house of Minglabar Myanmar. We talked about volunteerism and we learnt how Danish youths are eager to serve their community. And then we found that they can do the works without regarding of gender.

Blog WD2

We taught them how to play Chinlone (Myanmar Traditional Ball – Cane Ball), even though we aren’t very good at playing that. We met many international youths and we made a good friendship and we shared our experiences, cultures, foods and so on. The concerts were very exciting and interesting. The Daily Show for every night like daily news, weather news were awesome. The Festival song “We are Young and Wonderful” is very meaningful. And the Late night Show “Myanmar Game” was a very exciting, enjoyable and scary event. And there were many activities zones like zip-lining, mud-bath, wildlife and so on.

Blog WD3

After Wonderful Days Festival, we had a chance to join the Hvide Klit family Camp where the people are very kind and generous. We performed a Myanmar Traditional Dance “The Candle Light Dance”. And we could be a part of fundraising for Minglabar Myanmar by selling T-shirts, Mascots and helping them to wear Thanakha (Myanmar traditional make-up). And we made a small presentation about “Politic in Myanmar”. Then, we joined the youth meeting and we learnt many things like bully in community. We appreciate all the things that they had done in the camp.

We had a very good time with generous Danish in Denmark!

Blog WD

Burmesiske frivillige deltog i Landslejren

Denne sommer var 13 frivillige unge burmesere i Danmark for at deltage i FDF’s landslejr og KFUM og KFUK’s Wonderful Days. 8 af de frivillige deltog i Landslejren – læs deres oplevelser med deres egne ord lige her.

It is quite a good opportunity for us to visit Denmark and participate in both FDF National Camp (Landslejr), held from 7th to 15th July and Wonderful Days Camp, held from 6th to 10th July. 13 participants from Myanmar were invited to participate in these programs. 5 of us went to Wonderful Days camp and the rest joined FDF National Camp (Landslejr). We would like to share some of our experiences from the National Camp.

National Camp took place in Sletten from 7th to 15th July, 2016. There were 12,000 participants including international participants at the camp which we had never imagined before. All the activities and games were fantastic and well organized. For example: the performances they presented at the big camp fire were linked to one another beautifully and attractively. Moreover, games were very adventurous and letting people engaged in team building.

There were about 12,000 colourful people participating in the camp. We eight people from Myanmar had to live together with Gl. Rye. They were all friendly, lovely and kind even kids. We were treated as the members of their family. When we got sick, the elders of Gl. Rye looked after us with love and patient. In addition, we could sleep soundly every single night because they built us a cozy tent and gave us warm sleeping bed.

As Asians, the foods are very different from us. In the beginning, it was very difficult for us to eat. But later, we got used to it and it has become delicious for us.

We all had a great experience at the camp together with Gl. Rye family. We played, ate, laughed, sang and shared what we have got together with them. Furthermore, we participated in Minglabar Myanmar activities enthusiastically. We played one of Myanmar traditional sports called Chinlone together with some participants at the camp.

Last but not the least, every moment we spent at the camp was amazing and we learned a lot of valuable things. Moreover, we got to see the impressive management and leadership which helped the whole event run successfully. We believe that we will be able to contribute what we learned from the camp in our country with our content.

With love,

Billy, Derrick, Lu Maw, Tommy, Zar Zar, Bauk Nu, Aye Mu, Gilda

Silkeborg Højskole i Myanmar

Elever fra Silkeborg Højskole har været to måneder i Myanmar, hvor de har mødt de frivillige i Yangon og boet på landet i Myanmar for at lære mere om projekterne. Her er, hvad deres lærer, Rasmus Danker, skriver om det.

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De kalder den Youth Hub’en. Det er et sted, hvor de unge fra Myanmar mødes for at hænge ud, diskutere, projektudvikle, spille spil, holde møder og meget mere. Det er den pulserende nerve i YMCAs hovedkontor i Yangon, hvor der altid er liv, stemning og energi.
 
For lidt over en måned siden afsluttede 13 unge fra Myanmar og 11 danske højskoleelever fra Silkeborg Højskole 9 dages intens “højskole” sammen i Yangon, Myanmar. Afslutningen blev et fælles projekt: At udvikle
Youth Hub’en, som de unge selv tager ansvaret for at indrette og føre videre.
 
Fælles brainstorm, idéudvikling og sidenhen rengøring, indkøb og maling. Ideer og drømme fra de unge fra Myanmar mødte danskernes energi og initiativ. Alles hænder flettede sammen og tog fat. Puder, musikanlæg, maling, opslagstavler og møbler blev købt ind med Danmission som sponsor.
 
Silkeborg Højskoles elever afslutter deres frivillige arbejde i YMCA og Shalom i denne weekend efter halvanden måned – og siger stort tak til Myanmar og deres vidunderlige mennesker. Vi glæder os til at vende tilbage til landet og til Youth Hub’en en dag i fremtiden.
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Se flere billeder fra turen på Facebook

’Youth Leader’ i Myanmar

– Vil du være ’youth leader’ i Myanmar og gøre en forskel sammen med andre unge frivillige?

Så har du nu muligheden! To unge fra Myanmar og to fra Danmark vil som ’youth leaders’ arbejde med ‘Minglabar Myanmar – Fundament for Forandring’ om at skabe udvikling i Myanmar – med alt betalt!

Hent opslaget her.

Hvad vil det sige at være ‘youth leader’?

Som ’youth leader’ vil du arbejde for at understøtte ‘Foundation For Change’ (FFC) i Myanmar. Du vil deltage i et to-ugers forberedelseskursus hos DUF, inden du rejser til Myanmar (Yangon), hvor du vil bo og arbejde i 7 ½ måned sammen med tre andre ’Youth Leaders’. Forløbet slutter i Danmark, hvor alle fire ’youth leaders’ i en måned vil være en del af Minglabar Myanmars oplysningskampagne.

Hvornår er det?

Forløbet starter d. 26. August 2016 til forberedelseskursus hos DUF. Det fortsætter i Myanmar indtil april og slutter i Danmark i maj 2017.

Hvad er kravene?

Du skal være mellem 18 og 30 år og kunne arbejde fuldtid (25-37 timer pr. uge) i de 9 måneder. Du vil få alle udgifter dækket (fly, bolig, transport, forplejning, forsikring, etc.) og modtage lommepenge.

Hvad er opgaverne?

De fire ’youth leaders’ vil arbejde for at understøtte ‘Foundation for Change’ (FFC) ved at:

  • Administrere ‘The Youth Hub’ – et sted for unge frivillige i Myanmar (Yangon),
  • Støtte de unge frivillige i at udvikle og eksekvere frivillige projekter,
  • Arrangere aktiviteter i ‘The Youth Hub’ for de frivillige,
  • Facilitere workshops om f.eks. ungeledelse, kommunikation, frivillighed, projektkoordinering, motivation, etc.

Hvem kan søge?

Alle mellem 18 og 30 år, der har interesse, dedikation og motivation til at arbejde med og for unge frivillige i Myanmar. Du skal have erfaring med frivilligt arbejde, kunne snakke og skrive på engelsk, og det er en fordel, hvis du har erfaring med at facilitere workshops.

 

Hvordan kan jeg søge?

Send en ansøgning til info@MinglabarMyanmar.dk senest d. 20. juli 2016. Skriv hvorfor du gerne vil være ’youth leader’ og hvilke relevante kompetencer og erfaringer, du har.

Motion for Myanmar

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Lørdag d. 16. april afholdt sportsklubben Crossover et sponsorløb for Minglabar Myanmar, der foregik i Mindeparken i Aarhus. Har du også lyst til at holde et sjovt arrangement for at sætte fokus på Myanmar, kan Mona Solsøs indlæg forhåbentlig inspirerere.

20 deltagere fordelt på både løbe- og cykelrute gav den gas i en time og fightede sig til i alt 32.000 kr.

Crossover havde på forhånd markeret ruten med balloner, indsamlet sponsorgaver i form af forfriskninger, spurtpræmier og præmier til lotteri, sat telt op og gjort klar til fælles grill efter løbet.

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Humøret var højt og der var plads til alle – børn på cykler, kvinder i rask trav, Myren Maren og Myren Mark på pensionistcykel, det flittige heppekor og omgangstællere, samt de trænede og mindre trænede cykel- og løbeben. Når sirenen lød var det med at sætte tempoet op – så var der præmie til den næste som kom over målstregen.

Ud over de mange sponsorer som havde hørt om Minglabar Myanmar, var der også mange forbipasserende i parken, som lige måtte stoppe op og høre lidt om, hvad der foregik. De fik en ballon i hånden og kunne gå hjem og læse videre.

”Crossover – Hvad er det for en sportsklub?” tænker du måske. Det er en sportsklub forankret i Aarhus, som stræber efter at styrke fællesskabet blandt KFUM og KFUK’ere gennem sport, men samtidig have mulighed for at række ud til folk som ikke har kendskab til KFUM og KFUK og give en ny indgangsvinkel til organisationen. Du kan læse mere om klubben på Facebook Crossover – KFUM og KFUK i Aarhus Midtby.

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På telttur i paradis

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i påsken besøgte en flok frivillige danskere myanmar. her deltog de blandt andet i en ungdomslejr, som Foundation for change havde arrangeret. Emma thoftgaard var en af deltagerne. Hun er FDF’er og har skrevet om sine oplevelser med omvendt måne og stråmåtter i paradis.

Jeg plejer at være på lejr i påsken enten som deltager eller instruktør, så det ville selvfølgelig også være gældende denne påske. Dog var det en anden lejr, end jeg er vant til. I påskeferien var jeg nemlig på lejr – eller Youth Camp – i Myanmar sammen med 8 andre frivillige danskere og 50 unge burmesere.

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Som FDF’er har jeg været på lejr mange gange, så da jeg hjemmefra fik af vide, at jeg skulle sove i et telt med liggeunderlag og sovepose, var det ikke skræmmende for mig. Selvfølgelig vidste jeg godt, at det nok ikke ville blive det samme, som at sove på en fodboldbane i Ballerup eller mellem træerne ude midt i skoven. Så da vi tog af sted mandag morgen, var jeg klar til hvad end jeg skulle møde. Men alligevel blev jeg overvældet, da jeg mødte synet af noget, der lignede paradis.

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Er det her vi skal bo?

Jeg havde aldrig forestillet mig, at jeg skulle sove i et telt på en strand, ved noget der mindede om verdens ende, mellem kokospalmer, slanger og havets sus. Det var helt fantastisk og meget surrealistisk. Det var mit første rigtig møde med Myanmar, som ikke var storby, kaos og ris, og det var det mest vidunderlige. Det var helt andet end Sletten ved Ry i Danmark, og hvordan man ellers forestiller sig, en lejrplads ser ud i Danmark. Forestil dig en rigtig bounty strand med kokospalmer, blåt vand (som i virkelig blåt vand) så langt øjet rækker, hvidt sand og krabber overalt. Som jyde er jeg vokset op med, at Vesterhavet er noget så skønt, men denne strand eller lejrplads, som det nu var, slog det på alle måder.

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Da vi skulle til at bygge vores lejrplads op, som kun bestod telte, blev vi danskere sat på lidt af en opgave. For mange af de unge burmesere var det første gang de skulle sove i telt, og derfor vidste de ikke hvordan man slog et telt op. På den bedste pædagogisk måde var der ikke andet for end at vise dem, hvordan vi plejede at gøre. Asiater er ikke så høje, så det var teltene heller ikke. Liggeunderlaget var heller ikke, som det vi kender det her hjemme; det var en tynd sivmåtte. På jorden lå der ikke træstoppe eller grankogler, nej, der lå kokosnødder.

Alt dette gjorde ikke så meget, når vi befandt os i så smukke omgivelser. Det var lige så smukt om natten. Himlen var fyldt af stjerner og månen, der vendte på hovedet, var smuk og klar, og når jeg krøb ned i soveposen kunne jeg høre vandet lige så stille. Så er det helt okay at være på telttur i Myanmar.

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Fra Godik-toilet til… Et hul i jorden

Igen som FDF’er har jeg levet primitivt mange gange. Jeg tisset i skoven og levet uden bad og rindende vand i flere gange, så man skulle mene,  at jeg burde være godt forberedt til mødet med det burmesiske toilet. Men alligevel kunne jeg ikke lade være med at stirre
i det hul, der skulle være mit toilet de næste par dage. Jeg har prøvet at ”sidde” på et hul før, men det er alligevel bare grænseoverskridende. Hvorfor, ved jeg ikke helt. Men jeg tror, det er fordi man forbinder et toilet med noget rent og hygiejnisk, og det kan man vist godt sige, at det burmesiske lejr-toilet ikke helt var. Her skal man have gode squat-skills og være god til at sigte, uanset om man er pige eller dreng. Jeg vænnede mig aldrig helt til lugten, og det faktum, at jeg ikke kunne skylle ud efter mig. Noget af det første jeg også lærte i Myanmar, var altid at have toiletpapir på mig. De burmesiske piger var nu heller ikke helt glade ved tanken om toilet-hullet. De var heller ikke vant til de primitive forhold, og de syntes, det var lige så grænseoverskridende som os, hvis ikke mere. Men når man skal, så skal man, og øvelse gør mester.

Der er mange ting, jeg som FDF’ere tænker jeg er forberedt på. Alligevel er det noget andet at være på lejr i Myanmar. Her spiser man ikke slik og is, men drikker kokossaft af kokosnødder, og bader i havet i stedet for at tage et varmt brusebad. Jeg har stået i mange mærkelig og bizarre situationer som FDF’er og denne telttur er ingen undtagelse. På sin helt egen måde. Jeg elsker at være på lejr, og jeg er sikker på, at telturen ved paradis i Myanmar, er en tur jeg sent vil glemme.

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