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.
The consequences of the Covid-19 global pandemic have affected many of the programs here at DEPDC. A third wave of infections has spread quickly through the areas. Mae Sai has been in a red area for infection rates and most schools have remained closed. In Myanmar the infection rates have been decreasing. With the decrease, some areas have been able to reopen the schools and training for youth has resumed.
At Kyaukme they have started teaching again but at the moment it is just short term training in computers, fruit carving, and flower arrangement.
In Mong Yong, the school is still open. When Covid-19 hit, the town was closed and the people inside and outside of Mong Yong were not able to leave the area so the school remained open, and studies have been in place this last semester.
Our hearts are with all those that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a community based organization, we have directly felt the impact Covid-19 has had and hope that cases begin to decline so that we can continue to do this work and be of service to the communities we hold dear.
On behalf of all the SYSTERM alumni, staffs, and volunteers at DEPDC, we would like to say thank you to all our past, present and future donors for your generous support. People like you represent the necessary partnerships that keep our centre flourishing. We are truly grateful.