Text and photos : Jean-Matthieu Gautier
“Think about your future” was the theme of the career forum and self-development training this year in Myanmar. It took place in Lashio last November, the largest city in the northern state of Shan.
Eight of our overseas volunteers ensure the smooth running of the sponsorship programmes for your sponsored children throughout Myanmar. Assisted by three translators and local leaders, they organised a three-day forum for more than a hundred students.
A focus on career
On the first day, a career forum allowed for an exchange between the students and representatives of different companies. This helped the young people to start thinking about what they liked to do and what they would like to develop as skills. Within this framework, activities, games and individual interviews with one of our overseas volunteers were organised.
The objective was to encourage them to ask themselves questions, and exchange with others to confront their various points of view, expectations and wishes. Personal and collective development was the main goal of the activities.
This gave them more information and ideas for their future thanks to this open-mindedness. Most of them were able to discover trades they hadn’t even imagined. 94 students were present for the first day.
Focus on personal development
The following day, 147 students were present. Together, the youths were able to answer the question of “How can one find one’s way?” by discovering professions and reflecting on the fact of being “actors in their own lives”. The day ended with individual interviews.
On the third and last day, 116 students came to attend self-development training. Objectives included becoming aware of one’s space and body, developing creativity and imagination, and gaining self-confidence through theatre and improvisation.
Conclusion of the forum
During this forum, the overseas volunteers realized that they often wanted children to understand everything quickly, whereas it is important to leave time for reflection. They found out that the children and students were very disciplined and inventive. The different activities created a very strong dynamic and bonds amongst the children.
This weekend was a real success both for the children’s happiness and for the thoughts they had about themselves and their future.
Without the translators in Burmese, nothing could have been done. The local authorities were dynamic and are more motivated than ever.
At the end of the three days, the volunteers asked the students what they had learned during the forum. Here is what some of them said:
- « Friendship, the importance of sharing, happiness, unity, sincerity. »
- « I’ve learned new games, and by the games, it challenged me to face the world with its joy and difficulties.”
- « I’ve learned that effort leads to success. During games, I had to make decisions, be fast, do efforts, listen to each other, do physical exercise and not give up.”
- « Thank you from our heart, you presented many things to learn, we are all happy. From friends, we gain a broader mind, sincerity. »
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