AHRDO organises youth empowerment and capacity building training

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From August 15 to September 15, 2014, the Arakan Human Rights and Development Organisation (AHRDO) held an intensive one-month training course, entitled "Effective Engagement and Trust Building", in Sitetway, Arakan (Rakhine) State. The programme, fully funded by OTI/USAID, had the following objectives:

  1. To strengthen the organisational capabilities of, and forge networks with, local activists and civic groups in order to help those affected cope and to encourage a peaceful change inside Arakan/ Burma.
  2. To raise awareness among people affected by large-scale infrastructural development and natural resource extraction projects, and highlight the adverse impacts.
  3. To encourage awareness and enjoyment, particularly among Arakanese communities who are vulnerable and underrepresented, of the fundamental rights to which they are entitled.
  4. To realize and understand the tenets of basic human rights, the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and their application to stability, conflict resolution, and peace building.
  5. To create an encouraging atmosphere in which qualified community leaders and activists can emerge, network and organize.
  6. To strive to make progress and solve the ongoing conflicts in practical and peaceful ways.
  7. To advance the concept of a Federal Union of Burma/Myanmar, with a healing and stabilizing Arakan showcasing the potential benefits of such a project.

youth empowerment and capacity building trainingAHRDO

Twenty-one motivated, dedicated and enthusiastic Arakanese youths, from fourteen townships of Arakan State, participated in the programme. The itinerary was formulated to expose the participants to new and important concepts and skills; to encourage them to plan and think critically; to strengthen their research and information gathering skills; and to offer them a chance to network with other prominent NGOs operating in Arakan and Burma.

youth empowerment and capacity building training-AHRDO

Arakanese people have long suffered from a severe lack of educational opportunities. Poverty, isolation and conflict, alongside governmental neglect, have resulted in an educational system which has failed to equip people with the knowledge and skills required to thrive in the modern world. Moreover, the repressive nature of the regime in Burma has created communities where political and civil education is almost non-existent, and people are not empowered to advocate for their own rights. These issues are serious obstacles to genuine political reform and, through projects such as this, AHRDO hopes to equip a new generation of Arakanese people with the knowledge required to be effective citizens, activists and leaders in years to come.

Certificate to youth empowerment and capacity building traineeAHRDO

In order to achieve this, participants were trained in seven crucial areas. These were: 1) democracy and human rights, 2) community organising and leadership, 3) rule of law, 4) constitution and federalism, 5) the role of media and citizen journalism, 6) environment, 7) conflict resolution and peace building.

Upon completion of the training, certificates were awarded to all participants before they returned to their own communities. AHRDO continues to communicate with them, and to facilitate cooperation between them, as they begin to apply and share the knowledge and skills they have gained in their everyday activities.

AHRDO would like to thank both our backers and the participants for making this project a success.

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