Posted by: thebluemusicblog | September 23, 2016


It has been a fantastic day. Meeting the National YMCA in Myanmar and the local YMCA in Yangon has given me inspiration and encouragement for a whole winter. The modern, professional style, the extremely socially relevant programmes and the open minded liberal approach of both staff and volunteers has amazed me and made me smile from ear to ear. If I am going to travel far, these are the people I want to travel with!

The Karawait palace where we had dinner tonight.

Where can you find a YMCA President who ends his welcome speech by playing his violin for us? Mr Tha Sein is such a President, and his leadership skills are up there on the top level. And General Secretary Maung Maung Win is highly respected and deeply loved and in my mind an excellent team leader!

The outside of the same palace in Yangon.

Map of Myanmar with all the 15 full member associations. There are 14 more associations applying for membership.


President Tha Sein  playing his violin as part of his welcome speech. Impressive and very emotional. Hospitality is without limits in Myanmar. 

Gift from the World YMCA.

Group picture with President Tha Sein to my left and General Secretary Maung Maung Win to my right.

Super competent young staff at the National Council. Very convincing and superbly dedicated staff – makes me proud! These young professionals are leaders of the following departments:

 1. Community Development Dep. working on:

– Sustainable Livelihood and Community Empowerment Project (SLiCE)

– Human Trafficking Project (NCA)

– Impulse Case Information Centre Myanmar

– Disaster Risk Reduction Project

More staff – leaders of Programme departments.

2. Human Resource Department working on:

– Bridge Project (Vulnerable Youth Project)

– Counseling Project

More than 30 staff at the National Council.

3. Youth Department working on:

– Foundation for Change (Youth Hub) Project

The Anti Human Trafficking Programme is impressive. The YMCA staff are training government and media leaders in handling this challenge in an ethical and at the same time effective way. They are facilitating negotiations among governments of neighboring states for mutual MOUs between countries to fight human trafficking. One of their partners is the former Chief of Police in Myanmar. Again I am out of words – this is just a great example of a YMCA profile I would like to see everywhere. I had a meeting with Hanna Mollan, the Country Representative in Myanmar from Norwegian Church Aid, they are partners with the YMCA in this Programme, and she is as enthusiastic as I am.

Leader of the the SLiCE -Sustainable Livelihood department at his desk. Through this Programme they build bridges in villages, they build affordable housing, they train people in everything from motorcycle repair to hotel management. It is Youth Empowerment par excellence! 

Again I am just speechless and full of admiration for the relevance of the Programme. (Hanna from Norwegian Church Aid to my right)

National Council Myanmar YMCA

Visit to Yangon local YMCA with 130 staff.

An old friend from many YMCA conferences – President U Tin Hla, Yangon YMCA.

Together with Associate General Secretary in Yangon, Daw Sandra Lu Née.

An absolutely beautiful and very enjoyable day comes to a beautiful end with birds around the main Buddhist temple in Yangon. Tomorrow breakfast is at 06.30 and we shall have an early start to Maubin and the local YMCA there.

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