From Learning to Leadership
Following the violent military quashing of the student revolution in 1988, the universities were shut down and many students imprisoned. Independent thinking was punished. Today, while the universities are now open again, standards fall well below international levels and courses are inadequate and curriculums often irrelevant. Students from marginalised ethnic groups or living in remote areas may have a desire to pursue education and make changes to their communities, but don’t have adequate information on how to pursue further study. There is a desperate need in the country for skilled and educated people with the ability to repair the damaged infrastructure, but no way for people to gain these skills.
Our From Learning to Leadership programme supports dedicated and visionary people from Myanmar who have a real plan for making a difference in their country. Every year we support students who want to make their country peaceful and democratic as well as bring vital skills that are desperately needed, including information technology, infrastructure, medicine, education and agriculture. We reach out to remote as well as conflict-inflicted regions, to help prospective students select the right course for their future, and support them in their education abroad to gain much-needed skills and qualifications which they simply cannot get at home. Studying abroad is an incredibly daunting prospect for many people who may not have left their villages before, let alone boarded a plane to a distant country. Our peer-to-peer mentoring programme, and student support, are vital components of our work. Many of the people we support have experienced unimaginable hardship in their lives, from civil war and devastating natural disasters to childhood poverty, and as a result they have a deep and passionate desire to change their country for the better. Prospect Burma scholars pursue their degree-level courses outside Myanmar, the time they spend abroad exposes them to different cultures, and different ways of thinking. It provides them an opportunity to engage and work/live with people from other religions/faiths/cultures. They can access labs, libraries and resources. They get to see how museums and cultural heritage is looked after. They experience what it means to be living in well-functioning democracies. They get to make friends from across the globe and meet influential people. Through our From Learning to Leadership programme they become change makers and they not only change their own life but countless other lives too. We empower our students to affect positive and lasting changes in Myanmar.