Deepening Democratization Processes Through Youth Leadership in Myanmar

Grantee: ActionAid International in Myanmar

The project aimed to identify new youth fellows, train them in leadership and concepts of democracy and governance, and prepare them to lead development projects in their communities. The strategy to do this was through “placements” with local grassroots organizations. The 130 trained youth fellows were supported through the fellowship network, including meetings at local and state levels and by identifying 400 youth volunteers through community “reflect circles” that the fellows facilitated. Together, the fellows and volunteers led and established a large number of development projects within the communities, ranging from pig rearing to the building of early education centres.

The model is ideally suited to both produce the expected outcomes and also lay the groundwork for potential future representation at national level. The project far exceeded its own expectations, reaching more than 100,000 people through project activities. However, planned training of journalists and the development of a website proved not to be possible in the political climate in Myanmar and were replaced by the production of a series of newsletters for the fellows and for broader dissemination.