Providing medical assistance to remote villages in Myanmar

  1. Could you describe the first moment when you realized you wanted to do this work?

The first moment realized I wanted to be involved in the field of Public health and activism for effective youth policies that promote community empowerment was as a result of what is going on currently in my country as a result of conflicts. I wanted to provide support to the poor helpless people in hard to reach areas that do not have access to proper medical attention.

I am a social accountability, gender equity and social inclusion officer in Rakhine state. These three components of my work are the main framework of what I believe is needed now to ensure provision of effective health care service in Myanmar at this time. My Responsibility is raising awareness among stakeholders and advocate for accountability consents, provide technical support for project staffs and government staffs, conducting community meetings and face to face meetings with influential community representatives and key stakeholders, and speaking up at coordination meetings in project site areas etc.,)

I have established good collaboration and partnership with staff at THC( Township Health Center) and SHG members to ensure their active participation in accountability processes and practices.  I have also trained staff and volunteers and put community feedback mechanisms in place at project area and open accessible channels. I have handled the valid issues raised from target groups through the feedback mechanism and brought the voices of beneficiaries or target groups to township level planning and coordination meetings. I am always keen about the conflict sensitivity analysis of Rakhine state before project implementation and throughout the project.

 

  1. Could take us through a day of your work? Where do you put most of your time and energy?

I usually wake up early to pray to God before going to office. There, I have a time plan for meetings, office use and analysis cases. In the evening time, I manage my works through evaluations. Overall, I put most of my time and energy to my professional works, community meetings and State level meeting for Peace building process. I do a lot of desktop research and write peace papers.

 

  1. What are your key achievements in your work?

I have had meaningful practical experience in both community based public health field and peace building process. I have skills of project management (organization development, team management and   leadership management, coordination and communication) and working experience in this related field. I have strong democratic leadership and organized skill. I am confident the skills in presentation, coordination (with many stakeholders), planning and time management. Making of budgeting effectively to community levels, advocating, monitoring and supervision according to Log frame and writing for donor report in timely in manner and of conducting many skill capacity trainings to government staffs (TMO, THN, HA, MW) and project staffs

  1. How does your organization promote inclusive participation of youth from diverse backgrounds?

By promoting inclusion of youth form diverse backgrounds helps bring about creative innovations, providing space for learning from each other and discussing about the cultural issues. We always advocate to local and national authorities for the inclusion of youth, make trainings and workshops to community based CBO and CSO. We also do open up channel for community empowerment through the media- a crucial approach for peacebuilding processes in Myanmar.

  1. What has been your hardest struggle so far, and how did you get over it?

My hardest struggle has been while conducting a gender equality campaign. I faced a lot of challenges to draw people´s support of the campaign. They did not want to talk about Gender based violence (GBV). To overcome this barrier, I made a creative video that addressed the issue and organized small group discussion around it.

  1. What is the biggest challenge you currently face?

The biggest challenge I currently face in my work is negotiating with leaders from local ethnic groups who are inciting violence against the Rohingya community. I see peace in Myanmar as an outcome of long process, not just of sporadic activism. We need to understand that peace process and commit to it all the way.

  1. What has been your biggest surprise on this journey so far?

My biggest surprise has been being selected as Myanmar country coordinator for World Peace Conference of Sweden and focal point of Myanmar in International youth committee.

  1. What keeps you going and give you inspiration in your work? What gives you hope?

I keep my working steady and thorough to achieve learning and sharing of my knowledge with others. Vulnerable communities in Myanmar are my inspiration and they motivate me to pursue a political career in the future to better advocate for their rights.

  1. If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

I don’t look previous time and always my work on the future.

  1. What words of encouragement would you give to women, children, minorities, and other disempowered groups when they are facing rejection because of the prevailing cultural norm?

I believe that although we are dependent on it, culture doesn’t make us to change. We become better people when we choose to set aside cultural norms that limit marginalized groups to accessing their deserved Human Rights.

 

  1. How can people interested to connect you reach you?( email, blog, website, linkedIn etc).

I am reachable at ungthanoo39@gmail.com

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