By Yu Yu Aung
“We really enjoy doing social activities together, so we wanted to form a group.’’
That’s the view from a young person in Shan State in eastern Myanmar who is part of a brand new civil society organization setting out to address different challenges facing local youth.
Shan State is the country’s largest state and is home to around 1.2 million adolescents, or 12 percent of the total national adolescent population.
UNICEF started working on adolescent engagement activities in the state in 2017, with the support of Pearson. Under the UPSHIFT program, adolescents were mobilized into groups and provided with trainings to equip them with 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration and team work, problem solving and creativity.