SWAN’s Young Women’s Leadership Training for 2016 is coming to a close. Thirteen youths took part in this 3 month long training inside Shan State, Burma. This time around the training combined experts, mentors and experienced facilitators to provide a holistic leadership learning experience for these young women. Human Rights, community development, ABCD (assets based community development), democracy, Burma’s Constitution, law, women’s rights, ASEAN, research and report writing, networking and advocacy are just some of the important topics explored and practiced by the trainees.
Much of the course was actually run by previous alumnae who, since their YWLT graduation, had moved on to great jobs and exciting achievements due in much part to this training. SWAN is very grateful for their insights and commitment to the next generation, and we are very happy to be able to employ them for their skills and experiences.
The young participants are already considered by their communities to have great potential and are active in CBO’s and civil society or grass-roots groups in their area. The participants this year came from various youth organisations and youth political movements. A subject new to most of the young participants was ‘democracy’; essential to human rights and for building a fair and just future Burma. Trainers spent much longer on the topic of democracy due to the participants having limited experience, and of course because of the importance of an in-depth understanding in order to promote and work towards it within all their future advocacy, networking, facilitation of grass-roots mobilisation, empowerment and community development projects and programming.
“This training is not only good for women, but also for whole future generations. We have gained a lot of knowledge in health, human rights, capacity building and education to name just a few. Myself, I grew a lot. The training will give me a much better chance at advancing my career and contributing to the society I’d like to be part of. I am very grateful to SWAN and proud on behalf of all women. Although I knew what I wanted to be, I didn’t know where to begin. This training has supported me building goals and will change my life.” One testimony from a participant; with corrections in translation.