Hla Hla Shwe, 23, was a first-year university student in Myanmar when inter-communal violence affected her daily life in June and October 2012. She had to give up her university studies, but the dream of education never faded. Now she will start working soon as a teacher in the camps of internally displaced persons (IDPs), with a help of Finn Church Aid and the European Comission.
“As education is vitally important for the future of children, every child should have the right to education. A child who is educated will know at least to identify between the right thing and the wrong thing in comparison with uneducated children”, Hla Hla Shwe says in training session held in That Kal Pyin School.
As part of the “EU Children of Peace Initiative” project, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) is funding Finn Church Aid’s (FCA) for Education in Emergencies -project in Rakhine state, Myanmar. FCA’s partner The Lutheran World Federation’s Myanmar Programme (LWF Myanmar) is implementing the project by building Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS), Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS) and supporting and training volunteer teachers, among other things. As recent results, four new Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) for 6-10 year old children has been just constructed and 12 new community teachers graduated. Hla Hla Shwe is one of the lucky ones.
“If possible, I would like to go to Yangon for further study after living here for a year. Being a teacher means many things to me. It brings self-satisfaction with happiness, knowledge improvement and some earnings for survival at the same time”, says Hla Hla Shwe.
Six days of training
The six day training course with LWF and Myanmar government teachers includes for instance developing the teaching & learning environment, and teaching Myanmar language.
One of the teaching techniques is Do, Talk and Record. The technique includes showing of photos and the students have to talk what is happening in the picture and then record it for instance in their books. For 3-5 year-old children there is Child Friendly Space (CFS), where children can play freely with their friends and toys, bringing happiness. Through games they also learn general and hygiene knowledge, communication skills, creative thinking, decision making and how to raise their self- esteem. Lot of the training has to do with giving first hand psychological help to the children and their close ones.
“Implementation of these programmes is believed to improve for instance basic literacy in the camp, and it will bring a better environment for the future generations to have “, May Myint Aya, Psychosocial Support and Protection Officer says.
In the end more than 7000 children between 3-17 years old from Muslim and Buddhist IDP camps will benefit from the education project. Children aged 3-17 years make up 60 percent of the target camp population.
The European Union is the world’s biggest donor of humanitarian aid, providing more than 50 percent of humanitarian aid worldwide. European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) was created in 1992, as an expression of the European solidarity with people in need all around the world.
Text: Mya Yadanar Khine, Communication and Reporting Officer, LWF