New Student Learning Resource Centre in Myanmar

On the 15th of August 2022 – the Feast of the Assumption – Catholic Student Action Myitkyina opened its Student Learning Resources Centre (SLRC), which is located in the grounds of St Patrick’s Church, Shatapur Parish in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar.

The current political crisis and the Covid pandemic has affected young people in the country. These days, many of them are out of school and trying to find employment. Many are not ready to be employed or do not have the necessary skills to be employed.

The centre offers an alternative learning programme to young people. It aims to address the gaps in education, skills formation and youth employment.

After the training programme, young people will hopefully be able to find an internship and work in different businesses or organisations inside or outside Myitkyina.

The centre is a partnership with the Pinyar Thagar Academy, the Advanced Accounting Institute, Confide Psychological Services and the Columban Fathers.

Columban Fr Kurt Zion helps cut the ribbon at the opening of the Student Learning Resources Centre (SLRC) in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar.

It has a computer room, a library, office and a counselling room. A total of 27 students are enrolled in the three-month long training programme which covers the following subjects: basic English skills, basic computer skills, basic accounting skills, work and life skills.

The centre will also provide counselling services and psychological education classes. It is guided by the values of service, leadership, resilience and community.

On 12th August we celebrated World International Youth Day. This year’s theme was ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages highlighting ageism’.

The World Health Organisation defines ageism as “the stereotypes (how we think), prejudice (how we feel) and discrimination (how we act) directed towards others or oneself, based on age” – that one is either “too young or too old” to be someone or to do something.

The SLRC hopes to provide these young people with the space and opportunity to lead, learn and grow while also providing service to their fellow youth. The centre is managed by a young and hopeful team of eight (four males and four females).

The teaching staff is also made up of young, competent and passionate teachers and trainers.

Of the 27 participants, 15 are males and 12 are females. Most participants are 19-22 years old (13 students. The political crises resulted to an increased number of students not attending school or universities.

Through the centre, we hope we will be able to provide assistance and support for all young people not just among the Catholics. We hope to provide a safe space for young people to meet and build community, space and opportunities for learning, support literacy and education, and help shape the new ideas and perspectives and finally build resilient and work-ready young people.

Help us help young people bring their dreams to life.

Columban missionary Fr Kurt Zion Pala is from the Philippines. He lives and works in Myanmar.

Please support our mission work in Myanamr by donating online here: https://columbans.ie/donate or send your donation to the Far East Office, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co Meath C15 AY2Y. Alternatively, you can donate by calling: 00353 46 909 8275.

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