Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My field trip to Kayin

Bertrand Bainvel, UNICEF Representative to Myanmar

Just back from Kayin State, after a two-day trip. I met two young men just released from the Tatmadaw and starting their first day of a 3-month vocational training course.

It was really nice to see them so excited to learn about mechanics and planning their new lives in their communities in Kachin and Pathein respectively. They shared with us some recommendations on how to reinforce the work to combat use and recruitment in the armed forces. “Help the Army get better screening procedures” said one. “Work with the religious leaders, people listen to them, they can help parents understand why it is not good to let their children join the army”, recommended the other. We also met the new Chief Minister of Kayin, one of the two female Chief Ministers of Myanmar, who shared her visions and concerns for children in Kayin - education, exposure to landmines and drug abuse - and the lead role she intends to play to coordinate effort and response. Finally, I talked to representatives of the Mon Education Committee on the best ways to promote mother tongue education in Mon and heard about the great progress they made through dialogue with the Mon Education Department. All in all, a lot of positive energy during this trip, and new opportunities as State and non-State Actors are ready to work together to improve the lives of children.  To be continued. 

No comments:

Post a Comment