The 3-year vocational training project of the YMCA Myanmar, which was supported by Horyzon last year, is now completed. The aim of the project was to support 300 Burmese young people from the poorest backgrounds in their economic independence. In addition, the project was intended to strengthen the young people's social skills so that they can shape their own future and contribute to the development of Myanmar. However, to achieve these project goals, many challenges had to be overcome: in addition to the Covid19 pandemic, Myanmar has also been struggling with severe political turmoil since February 2021. Dealing with this multi-faceted crisis was a challenge for the project, bur project staff and beneficiaries alike showed strong resilience to withstand all these hurdles.
A final project survey, which was conducted in March 2021, showed the various positive impacts the project had on the young beneficiaries’ lives:
In the area of civil society engagement, 62% of all young people responded that they were applying the civic knowledge they had gained from the project and were more involved in political issues and local politics in their community.
The results in the area of strengthening the young people's social skills were exceeding expectations by far: 94% of the young people surveyed said that their lives had improved since participating in the project and 88% were positive about their future. 89% of the young people said that they had gained good self-confidence.
Despite the economic hardship caused by the pandemic, a total of 310 young people were able to start their own businesses thanks to vocational training. 45 of these young people live with a physical or mental impairment. 96% of all young people had a higher income at the end of the project than before. Half of these 310 young people (103 young women and 52 young men) had a monthly income of more than 50 dollars at the end of the project and were thus able to make an important contribution to the family budget.