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!
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!
President Tha Sein playing his violin as part of his welcome speech. Impressive and very emotional. Hospitality is without limits in Myanmar.
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
2. Human Resource Department working on:
– Bridge Project (Vulnerable Youth Project)
– Counseling Project
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!
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.