Play for Peace Practice Peace Session
8th Report for Rural Teacher Training in Myanmar
December 19th, 2015
Dear friends, family and supporters of our Teacher Training Programs in Myanmar,
We are pleased to share with you another report on the progress of the Teacher Training Programs here in Myanmar. As usual, it has been a busy three month period with many activities.
In particular, November was an extremely busy month as several trainers and volunteers were working with us to share a variety trainings here in Myanmar.
Play for Peace in Myanmar
Our dear friends from India, Swati and Agyat, skilled Play for Peace trainers joined us for the entire month. We first met Swati and Agyat in Thailand several years ago and since that time have been planning for them to come and work with us here in Myanmar.
Along with the support of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Socially Engaged Monastic Schools (SEMS), we were able to organize 5 Play for Peace Trainings. We began with Play for Peace Training of Trainers (TOT) in Bago Region for a select group of skilled trainers, facilitators, community leaders and teachers. Key trainers joined the training from Myanmar, Laos and Thailand to make it an International Training for Trainers.
Following this, we moved to the central region of Myanmar to host another training at Phaung Daw Oo Monastic School. We then joined with Brighten Foundation and together a group of 6 trainers went to Southern Shan State to lead a Play for Peace and Youth Empowerment Training with a group of Pa-O youth from Naung Taung Monastic School and two youth groups from nearby Taunggyi.
Several Play for Peace groups were established and are now sharing their activities with each other throughout Myanmar and with the global Play for Peace community.
Swati and Agyat will return to Myanmar in June to do a followup series of trainings for alumni of the first trainings held in November and to reach into new regions of Myanmar to share Play for Peace. In February, a select group of alumni from the Myanmar trainings will also register to be certified Play for Peace trainers in Myanmar. We are grateful for Swati and Agyats amazing energy and commitment to sharing these skills with children and community members throughout Myanmar!
Democratic and Holistic Education Training Part III in Kachin State
As you may recall from previous reports, I have been working in Kachin State with several local groups to provide trainings for teachers in Holistic and Democratic models of education, and focusing on child development as well as sharing trainings with local communities in earthen building to support on going process of building a number of community based schools with sustainable buildings.
In November, as we went to Kachin State to share the Play for Peace trainings, I also had the chance to run the 3rd Training in Holistic Education as part of a series we have been providing to teachers from Kachin State over the last year. During this training we met with the same participants from the previous two trainings as well as new teachers.
The focus was on Child Development and specifically the development of the human brain and better understanding how the brain grows and how as teachers and parents we can use that knowledge to better address the needs of our developing children. The three day training was a huge success and we are looking forward to heading back up to Kachin State in the early part of 2016 to share the 4th Part of the trainings focusing on the Teenage Years and Tools for Parents.
Earthen Building in Kachin State
As part of our ongoing work with partner organizations in Kachin State, we are now supporting the development of 13 community schools by providing earthen building trainings. All of the local community schools are excited to learn earthen building so the communities can build their own schools.
In November we also taught a 2 Day Earth Brick workshop to 40 participants from several different communities around Kachin State. During the workshop we introduced the importance of earthen building as a community building process and introduced several topics, including some team building games from Play for Peace. We were able to make several hundred mud bricks and did the first site assessment for the building of the new school.
In January, I will return with our friend Richard, a New Zealand architect working with us who is based in Myanmar and Thailand. Together we will design the new school for the community just outside Myitkyina using Permaculture principles and earthen building. The preliminary design is for 6 classrooms, a library, administration building and play ground.
Since we have left, the community has already made several thousand bricks in preparation for Phase II workshop where we will put in the foundation, site design and put up the walls of the first classroom.
We are very excited for the second workshop scheduled for January 14-19th.
Bamboo Treatment Tank Workshop at Pa-O Monastery in Southern Shan State
As part of our work to support the sustainable development of monastic schools here in Myanmar we will be hosting the first of a series of Bamboo and Earth Building Workshops. On January 8-9th we will be hosting the Bamboo Treatment Tank workshop where we will train builders from all over Myanmar who are working in community development to build treatment tanks. The trainers will come from Thailand and Southern Shan State to build the tanks.
The first tanks will be started in Naung Taung Monastic School in preparation for the 2nd workshop in March where we will be joined by Indonesian trainers to lead the building of the bamboo classroom. Following this initial treatment tank workshop, there will be following workshops in the Dry Zone in Kyaubadaung at Shwenadi monastic school and another workshop in Kachin State so that we will have 3 areas focusing on the treatment of bamboo for sustainable and long lasting building projects. We are looking forward to sharing more about the next training we will be providing from now until March.
We will be working closely with the Head Monk of Shwenadi Monastic School pictured here to set up a Sustainable Training Centre at his monastery and to work with his students to make it an Eco Temple.
Head monk of Shwenadi changing to eco monastery
Site of New Sustainable Training Centre at Shwenad
Kachin children in making mud bricks for school
Democratic Education Forum Part III Kachin State
Pa-O Youth Empowerment Training in Shan State