Our main webpage is in Danish but here we give a short overview of project Minglabar Myanmar.
KFUM & KFUK
KFUM & KFUK in Denmark is a membership based organization and is an ecumenical children’s and youth organization rooted in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark. The organization is based on a Christian belief but everyone is welcome, regardless of religious beliefs, nationality, race, gender, opinions, or social position. The activities are aiming at children, young people and adults and in Denmark there are 150 local associations spread across the country with about 10.000 members. The new vision of KFUM & KFUK (2025) is to become an organization ‘for more’ and specify the various opportunities in the organization.
KFUM & KFUK’s Previous International Development Experience
Globally KFUM & KFUK is a member of World Alliance of YMCA and World YWCA, which establish the ground for strong relations and trust between KFUM & KFUK in Denmark and YMCA and YWCA worldwide. KFUM & KFUK has established cooperation with international offices of YMCA and YWCA for decades and have profound experience with working on development projects in correspondence with the partner organizations wishes and needs. Most lately KFUM & KFUK has worked on a development project in India, with the aim of creating education for HIV-positive women as well as establish a ‘café’ for children where they could get help with their homework.
KFUM & KFUK has substantial experience in doing international work, cooperating with international partners and develop, execute and evaluate their international cooperation with YMCA and YWCA in developing countries. Likewise does KFUM & KFUK have experiences with setting up the administrative frames and have a focus on the ownership of the local partners in order to make the projects sustainable.
FDF is likewise a Christian organization for children and youth in Denmark and the organization aims at establishing a sense of community among young people by facilitating social activities, outdoor camps and trainings. FDF have 400 local groups spread across Denmark and has approximately 20.000 members. The vision of FDF (2015) is to be an organization that offers communities for children and young people and meaningful relations and to be known for taking the well being of children and young people in Denmark and abroad seriously.
FDF Previous International Development Experience
FDF is a member of the international umbrella organizations “European Fellowship”, “Global Fellowship” and “fimcap”. For more than 30 years FDF has worked with development projects, and the international initiatives are an important part of FDF’s DNA in regards to the programs for children, youth and young leaders. Previously FDF have cooperated with either Folkekirkens Nødhjælp (FKN) or Danmission on two year projects, where they have participated and supported ongoing projects. This project will be a four year cooperation with KFUM & KFUK. FDF has provided the contact to Danmission creating the link to the partner Shalom in Myanmar.
A Collaboration Between FDF and KFUM & KFUK
The two organizations are thereby based on Christian values and visions for improving the livelihoods of children and young people. Furthermore is the work of the organizations characterized by training and project activities, voluntary work and qualifying experiences that strengthens the capability of young people to be engagement in the Danish and international civil society.
The training activities both organizations have profound experience with executing activities. These will be part of the training activities will be adapted and implemented in Myanmar e.g. Youth Leadership, Project Management, Networking Activities, Fundraising, Sustainability, methods for working with children, and Democratic Processes.
Silkeborg Højskole is a strategic partner of the project. The students of Silkeborg Højskole will attend a semester with a focus on Myanmar and during June-July provide volunteer services in Myanmar.
Shalom – a Local Partner
Shalom in Myanmar was founded in 2000 and since then, the foundation has been in the forefront of peace-building processes aimed at solving or preventing conflict based on ethnicity, religion, financial aspects, etc. One of Shaloms projects include the Multi Active Services (MAS) Fellowship Program, with the purpose of providing trainings and support to volunteers situated for a period of two years in rural areas populated by marginalized people with the purpose of supporting their development. Another project is the Interfaith Youth Cooperative Action for Peace (IYCAP), which includes the four main religious groups in Myanmar (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism) and which has the strategic goal to create a dialogue and improve relationships between the faith groups.
Shalom and the Rights Based Approach (RBA)
Shalom have long-term experiences with working with Rights Based Approaches (RBA) through dialogue and training activities. This will strengthen the project, as they will provide support in planning and executing activities that will increase the young volunteers’ knowledge of RBA and make them reflect and implement the methods into their own projects as well as do trainings in developing the volunteers’ qualifications in this field. Further, Shalom’s experience with RBA strengthens the projects opportunities for increasing the focus on advocacy activities, as part of the ‘change triangle’ of this Pilot Project.
Shalom & Volunteers
The volunteers of Shalom who are relevant for this project are divided in two groups: 1) the fellows of the MAS Fellowship Program, 2) the interreligious dialogue group (IYCAP). The fellows receive training that enables them to teach in e.g. hygiene, child care, advocacy activities, etc., and are then stationed in remote villages for two years. The interreligious dialogue group consists of young volunteers from the four main religions in Myanmar, and they work five places in Myanmar (incl. the slum of Yangon).
The goals of Shalom are:
- Peace building and dialogue in order to solve or prevent conflicts, and
- Provide opportunities for young people to obtain qualification and engage in their society and the country’s democratic development.
- RBA based on training and advocacy activities in order to support the qualifications of young people and the development of rural areas,
Shalom has been working with international donors for many years. Donors such as the EU, DFID, the World Bank and Danmission are just some of the actors Shalom engages with. Shalom is one of the larger organizations in Myanmar with a strong administrative and financial setup which enable it to handle international donor requirements. Shalom is e.g. familiar with Danida standards through their collaboration with Danmission. Shalom is an influential organization both within civil society and government but without losing focus on keeping contact with grassroot level and supporting new potential civil society leaders at local, regional and national level. The MAS Fellow program and other volunteer programs and the way that theses programs support downward accountability are very important to the organization. Shalom handles in their strategic work the complex role of leading peace processes at national level at the same time as they through their MAS Fellow volunteer program delivers quality development work at local level in both conflict and non-conflict areas in Myanmar. Shalom is an experienced training institution which practices participatory and inclusive training and has good results with training youth and supporting them in having an impact on local communities while they at the same time help qualify a generation of youth who is eager to learn.
YMCA Myanmar – a Local Partner
YMCA of Myanmar was established in 1897 under British rule but leadership of people from Myanmar was initiated around 1940s (before independence). YMCA Myanmar has since then worked especially to enhance the livelihoods of children and young people in Myanmar with a disregard of religion, gender and social status. YMCA has also experience with facilitating training activities
YMCA & Volunteers
The volunteers of YMCA are actively engaged in doing voluntary work for especially a vast number of orphanages in the outskirt of Yangon, which they take the initiatives for. Furthermore, have they been doing voluntary work at e.g. workcamps, where they help poor villages reconstructing e.g. bridges. The volunteers in YMCA have a strong contact to the decision level of YMCA, yet they, as the volunteers of the other organizations, are influences by a weak culture for including young people and volunteers in decision processes.
The goal of YMCA Myanmar is to:
- Develop and execute programs and activities for the youth to increase the capacity in participating in the development of Myanmar,
- Work for equal opportunity for both men and women in all programs and agendas, and
- Work in solidarity with the poor and foster dialogue and partnership between people of different faiths and ideologies.
YMCA Myanmar has a number of experiences with cooperating with both local and international partners in providing activities for and by young people. Currently YMCA Myanmar is cooperating with Y Care International in London on a project for Vulnerable Youth and Bread for the World, Germany on a Sustainable Livelihoods and Community Empowerment project in the country side. YMCA Myanmar has also experience with providing training and arrange workcamps for young people. Furthermore has YMCA Myanmar also contact to the primary target group, namely semi-resourceful young people, as well as has contact to a number of local areas and projects, which the young people can do voluntary work for, if they choose to prioritize these. YMCA Myanmar also have good relationships on local governmental level, which is an important aspect when working in a country like Myanmar, where the government has and still seeks control of the NGO’s and the activities in the growing civil society.
YWCA Myanmar – a Local Partner
YWCA of Myanmar was established in July 1951 after 6 local associations had been formed. Now there are 10 local associations. YWCA Myanmar was founded to meet the new demands life would make on women in the changing social and economic conditions in Myanmar, and it has a focus on advocating for young women’s leadership, peace, justice, human rights and sustainable development.
YWCA & Volunteers
The volunteers of YWCA are the ones with the least influence on the organizations, yet also the organizations who strongest emphasized a wish to empower and qualify the young volunteers and staff to take part in developing and lead YWCA in the future.
The goal of YWCA Myanmar is to:
- Serve and provide various training opportunities of especially young women and girls throughout the country irrespective of race, religious denominations and social standings, and
- Organize livelihood and vocational training in order to achieve education, health, security and human dignity for all people.
YWCA Myanmar has also previous experiences in cooperating with international partners. This they have e.g. done with great success with UNICEF on a street children project, which had the purpose of educating and training the children and their parents and provide a safe space for the children. Furthermore has YWCA Myanmar cooperated with YWCA Seoul on a volunteer exchange program for young women in Myanmar and Korea. This cooperation included training activities, field trips and planning a festival for young people in Yangon.
Shalom, YMCA and YWCA – Cooperating Partners Sharing Values
YMCA, YWCA and Shalom thereby share the same values as FDF and KFUM & KFUK. Furthermore does all organizations work non-profit and share a focus on children and young people. The work and the goals of all three partner organizations in Myanmar also all corresponds in regards to the focus on qualifying and enabling the young people to take part in Myanmar’s civil society and democratic development, and all organizations have a number of young people already engaged as volunteers and more who awaits the opportunity. However, the three organizations have a different degree of using and including volunteers in the organizations work and decisions. This fact will pose as a challenge in regards to empower all the volunteers to take equal part in the hub, however, it is also seen as a strength as the difference in experiences can provide as inspiration through peer-to-peer methods.
 Workcamp = A project where young people get together for a period of 1-2 weeks and do voluntary work. The work they do can vary from reconstruction work, teaching, short advocacy training projects, creative projects, etc.. This type of work seems as merely providing a service to passive receivers. However, a workcamp is often carried out between young people, who do not know each other, wherefore the activity also function as creating networks, friendships, knowledge of each other, and establish cooperation across e.g. cultures and religions. The value of a workcamp therefore exceeds being merely a ‘charity’ but also provides valuable experiences of cooperating across borders, cultures, religions, professions, etc.. Likewise can topics of advocacy activities for the local people (in e.g. demanding their rights regarding the local government helping them with similar project in the future), be added.