Myanmar has been plagued by ethnic and religious conflict since the end of World War II. Today, the country is at a turning point -- home to a newly elected democratic government and a demographic dividend. More than a quarter of the population is between 15 and 29. Supporting civic education and community engagement in this generation will help quell violence, establish political stability, and educate a generation of leaders capable of building a peaceful and prosperous Myanmar.
The Myanmar Peace Maker program teaches young people how to conduct social research in their communities; how to assess threats to peace and stability; how to discuss issues including religious, ethnic, and political differences with delicacy; and how to propose, design, and implement community-led and youth-led solutions to the problems they have researched. Participants present their proposals to a panel of development practitioners and receive grant funding to launch their ideas.
The project will result in five community-based, youth-led peacebuilding projects, to be implemented in post-conflict communities where participants live. Each project will reach at least 100 - 150 people, with a total impact of 500 - 750 people, living in some of the most fragile communities in the country. Peace Makers have completed a 10-day workshop in which activists and community leaders shared insights and experiences. They are now raising money to implement their projects.