A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth

by DEPDC
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth
A Call to Action and Leadership for Myanmar Youth

The Shan Youth Safety Training to End Risky Migration (SYSTERM) was created as an expansion of DEPDC’s Mekong Youth Union (MYU).  SYSTERM is an extension of DEPDC’s core tenet: that education is the key to prevention.  Through educating our children in the Sub-Mekong Region we empower them with the agency to protect themselves from human trafficking.  The young adults we train return to their communities, establish initiatives, and share the knowledge they gained at DEPDC with their peers.  Every child reached through this ever-expanding network is better prepared to combat the issues they face.  This is how DEPDC, a small community-based organization, makes a large difference in the surrounding areas.  It has been over a year since the graduation of our first class, and our graduates have continued to implement projects in their communities.  

Since our last update in July, we are glad to confirm that the projects from our SYSTERM graduates are still running smoothly.  Students and youths continue to attend the schools, trainings, and activities led in their respective communities by our alumni.  Enrollment has continued to expand and the schools are welcoming more new students with every passing semester.  We are also proud to congratulate two of our alumni who will begin the baccalaureate studies.  Their commitment to education is a bright example to our younger students.  

We continue in our mission to expand the project, reaching more children throughout the region.  With your generous support we can train another group of youths to continue eliminating the risk of human-trafficking in our communities.  Please continue to provide your much appreciated support and don’t forget to spread the word about SYSTERM by following, liking, and sharing our updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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DEPDC’s mission is founded on the principle that education is key to prevention.  We can save the children of the Sub-Mekong Region from falling victim to human trafficking by edifying and empowering them.  We are a small organization, but with grassroots initiatives and youth leaders we can make a big difference.  The Shan Youth Safety Training to End Risky Migration (SYSTERM) was created as an expansion of DEPDC’s Mekong Youth Union (MYU) with this goal in mind.  DEPDC invited over 50 youths from across the Greater Sub-Mekong Region to participate in a 7 month intensive training program.  After graduation, our SYSTERM students returned to their communities to share the knowledge and develop their own projects. 

In July it will be a year since DEPDC graduated its first group of SYSTERM students.  As we approach this “important” anniversary, we would like to take a look at the successes and accomplishments of our graduates. 

In May DEPDC staff members traveled to the Shan State in Myanmar to conduct a follow up assessment on the projects implemented by our SYSTERM graduates.  All of our students returned to their respective homes and host organizations where they shared their knowledge and experiences.  They have continued to hold classes and seminars within local schools and temples.  Some have returned to their local schools to work as teachers, education the next generation on anti-trafficking initiatives.  Other SYSTERM graduates have founded their own schools to continue to inspire the youth through education.  SYSTERM students have collaborated with MYU alumni to implement their own grassroots initiatives.  The communities have shown an overwhelming amount of support and the SYSTERM graduates and express their desire to continue to help the at-risk youth in their communities. 

At DEPDC we could not be more proud of the efforts and growth of our SYSTERM graduates.  We are looking to expand the project, reaching more children throughout the region.  With your generous support for our mission we can train another group of youths to continue eliminating the risk of human-trafficking in our communities.  Please continue to provide your much appreciated support and don’t forget to spread the word about SYSTERM by following, liking, and sharing our updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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Shan Youth Safety Training to End Risky Migration (SYSTERM) was created as an expansion of DEPDC’s Mekong Youth Union (MYU), which was initially established to provide a means of collaboration among 96 young leaders who completed a five-year leadership programme called the Mekong Youth Network (MYN) back in 2009. MYN taught the young leaders about initiating grassroots movements that could prevent human-trafficking within their own communities.

This past July, the first group of SYSTERM students graduated after completing this seven- month pilot programme. Following graduation, many students returned home to share the knowledge gained from their experiences living, learning, and interning at DEPDC. We have reached out to these students to follow up on their recent activities, particularly regarding any educational initiatives launched in their hometowns. We have a compiled some of these updates below.

The 18 students from Tai Kids Organisation in Kyaukme returned home to assist a recently identified targeted group of students by means of academic workshops. Some of these former SYSTERM members also work and teach at the Nation School, specifically in the subjects of computer and English literacy. The three students from Yangpoo School in Kengtung and the 13 students from the Tai Nation School in Kengtung returned home to share their experiences with youth at their respective schools. The latter group specifically hosted how-to workshops about making fertilizer, planting vegetables, cooking vegetarian food, cleaning, teaching, and filming videos. After graduating, the four students from the Half Day School (HDS) who had participated in SYSTERM served as probationary employees at the centre for three months. Two of them taught the younger HDS students, while the other two worked in the repair centre. The one SYSTERM student from Mongyong returned home to set up the Tai Lue School in his village. Similar to the initiatives of peers, this is aimed at inspiring youth through education. We look forward to keeping in touch with, supporting, and expanding our network of SYSTERM students in the future.  

On behalf of all the children, teachers, and volunteers at DEPDC, I would like to say thank you for your generous support of our mission. People like you represent the crucial partnerships that keep our centre thriving, and I appreciate having you all as allies as we push to eliminate the risk of human-trafficking in our communities. Please continue to provide your much appreciated support and don’t forget to spread the word about SYSTERM by following, liking, and sharing our updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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Shan Youth Safety Training to End Risky Migration (SYSTERM) was created as an expansion of DEPDC’s Mekong Youth Union (MYU), which was initially established to provide a means of collaboration among 96 young leaders who completed a five-year leadership programme called the Mekong Youth Network (MYN) back in 2009. MYN taught the young leaders about initiating grassroots movements that could prevent human-trafficking within their own communities.

 This past July, the first group of SYSTERM students graduated after completing this six- month pilotprogramme. Following graduation, many students returned home to share the knowledge gained from their experiences living, learning, and interning at DEPDC. They have also begun to host classes and workshops in their local schools and temples, guided by the belief in the importance of education in securing human rights, in creating greater personal and professional opportunities, and in bettering their communities. The SYSTERM graduates may also seek to connect with the members of MYU to expand anti-trafficking initiatives, as well as jump-start their own local movements to prevent, to protect, to support, and to inspire others.

 As we have previously mentioned, we are eager to expand the scope of SYSTERM and tailor it in a way to encompass more countries in Southeast Asia. This would increase our direct impact on at-risk communities, as well as allow us to forge more transnational partnerships with organisations with a similar mission.

 On behalf of all the children, teachers, and volunteers at DEPDC, I would like to say thank you for your generous support of our mission. People like you represent the crucial partnerships that keep our centre thriving, and I appreciate having you all as allies as we push to eliminate the risk of human-trafficking in our communities. Please continue to provide your much appreciated support and don’t forget to spread the word about SYSTERM by following, liking, and sharing our updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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Sunday, 29 July, marked a bittersweet moment at DEPDC - the first cohort of students graduated from the Shan Youth Safety Training to End Risk Migration (SYSTERM). This seven-month program culminated in a day-long ceremony filled with inspiring speeches, traditional dance performances, and reflective presentations in which each student briefly expressed their experiences living, learning, and interning at DEPDC. 

SYSTERM was created as an expansion of the Mekong Youth Union (MYU), which was initially established to provide a means of collaboration among 96 young leaders who completed a five-year program called the Mekong Youth Network (MYN) back in 2009. MYN taught the young leaders about initiating grassroots movements that could prevent human-trafficking within their own communities. The 53 SYSTERM graduates have returned home to Shan State in neighboring Myanmar with the hopes of connecting with the members of MYU to expand anti-trafficking initiatives, as well as jump-starting their own grassroots movements to protect, to support, and to inspire others. This is especially important given the rise of state crisis in Myanmar, which has caused thousands of individuals to migrate to more promising areas of the Golden Triangle, including border towns in like Mae Sai in which DEPDC is located.

Upon their completion of this programme, our students have already begun facilitating classes and training sessions in their local schools and temples, as they believe education is critical in informing people of their rights, in unlocking personal and professional opportunities, and in making fundamental changes in their communities. We are humbled by the immediacy and overwhelming passion with which they have begun to put their vision into action. 

Within the near future, we are eager to expand the scope of SYSTERM and tailor it in a way to encompass more countries in Southeast Asia. This would increase our direct impact on at-risk communities, as well as allow us to forge more transnational partnerships with organisations with a similar mission. We are eager to take the first concrete steps to put this plan into motion by identifying target regions with high levels of at-risk youth and then contacting locally-run schools and temples willing to nominate and sponsor students. This international programme would follow a similar format to that of SYSTERM, but we are keen on restructuring in a manner that educates and prepares students to address the specific issues of their diverse communities. 

On behalf of all the children, teachers, and volunteers at DEPDC, I would like to say thank youfor your generous support of our mission. People like you represent the crucial partnerships that keep our centre thriving, and I appreciate having you all as allies as we push to eliminate the risk of human-trafficking in our communities. Please continue to provide your much appreciated support and don’t forget to spread the word about SYSTERM by following, liking, and sharing our updates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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Organization Information

DEPDC

Location: Mae Sai, Chiang Rai - Thailand
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @DEPDCGMS
Project Leader:
Somporn Khempetch
Mae Sai, Chiang Rai Thailand

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