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Although youth are a significant population in Myanmar, policy-making does not include them at all levels. There are only 8.2% of elected Members of Parliament in Union Parliament, and almost no youth in higher institutional bodies like Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee and no policies enabling youth economic empowerment and business.
It has been stressed numerous times that sustainable development, peace building and democracy requires a lot of youth engagement. The education system in Myanmar is very weak and is unable to equip youths with the skills needed for their career or social lives.
Concurrently, the Myanmar healthcare system is lowest ranked countries in the world. There is a huge lack of success stories for youth to be inspired in their development ecosystem. With the current legal and social barriers, youths are increasingly disengaged in community development, with a survey in Mawlamyine in 2019 showed that 50% of youth (university students and fresh graduates) have not engaged in any of community events in the past six months.
SEED for Myanmar promotes youth participation in decision-making through our three pillars of civic education, economic empowerment and fostering collaboration.
We run soft skills development and life planning courses to equip youths to become more confident and more effective. Our courses include young political leadership, project management and social entrepreneurship, empowering youth to become changemakers for their community.
We also foster the youth development ecosystem for Mawlamyine City to better understand their challenges. We use youth-led festivals and community events to share their knowledge, expertise, challenges, and inspirations towards creating a better future. We created a Facebook page to share short interviews and quotes the imagination of youths for the future. Currently, many of our alumni are promoting environmental conservation and waste management activities. SEED for Myanmar is becoming the most advanced youth-led institution for the youth in Mon State, Myanmar.
For more information on our work, do refer to our Slide Deck.