Bright Ideas Rain in UNV Myanmar’s First Ever Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge
MYANMAR’S FIRST EVER Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge concluded last Sunday with three big winning ideas from the country’s promising youth. This event is the first of a series of Challenges that are being organized in the South East Asia Pacific Region in collaboration with partners and that will culminate with a Regional Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge in Bangkok this coming June 2017 under the auspices of ASEAN.
Some 11 participating groups, ranging from schools to passionate individuals in the youth sector, rose to take the challenge to create spaces for the youth to discover who they are as individuals and members of a wider community. Integrating social innovation concepts, volunteerism spirit and SDGs, the participants presented ideas that would provide opportunities for young people to develop critical life skills of team building, leadership, problem solving by launching their own Impact Projects that aspire for positive change. Each team made use of personal development models and tools for developing self-confidence as taught by their mentors.
Out of the 11 teams, DULSA got the highest score for their CLE Training Program, designed to educate and make women of Myanmar aware of how laws can work for them. They were trailed by Myanmar Youth Power with their Heritage App that puts the spotlight on the historical, cultural, and social value of old buildings in the country. Rounding up the three winning teams is the Mealorie’s ambitious proposal to address the issue of hunger from impoverished communities through leftovers and volunteers. These three teams bested their peers and impressed the panel with their innovation, creativity, and passion. Other big ideas presented aimed to address various needs in education, agriculture, manufacturing, as well as volunteering itself.
The participants were given special courses ranging from project and team management, social impact, finance, as well as crash courses in IT, as well as an overview of marketing and communications, along with workshops in prototyping and presentation of their ideas, and other team building exercises.
Partners from various industries offered mentorship for the participants. Among them were Telenor Myanmar’s Head of Business Sustainability, Min Thu, Impact Hub Yangon’s Okka Myo, AYOO’s Sofia Ranieri, AIESEC Myanmar’s President Elect, Kong Sitthixai Vongdeuane, and Ronan Chua, who represented the marketing and advertising sectors.
Mentors and facilitators guided the teams through the entire program. Present were UNDP Myanmar’s Jennifer Andre, UNICEF Myanmar’s Klaus Oberbauer, UNV Myanmar’s Juan Miguel Sanchez, and UNV Asia and the Pacific’s Indra Ganzorig.
The event was a two-day adventure and learning experience that was hosted by Connect Institute, offering a facility highly conducive for creating ideas, and developing young talent and learning.
One of the Myanmar three winning teams will contend to represent Myanmar and compete with other countries from the region in the Regional ASEAN Youth Volunteering Innovation Challenge in Bangkok, Thailand, this coming June, 2017.
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