YOUTH AND EDUCATION
Education is a critical building block in the socio-economic development of a country. While over 9 million youth and children in Myanmar attend schools with primary and secondary education, not all have the opportunity to complete their university studies.
As alumni of United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA), Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation’s (BFM) co-founders were determined to create more opportunities for other youth in Myanmar to complete their tertiary studies and develop their full potential. Thus, Youth and Education became one of the core pillars of BFM’s initiatives in 2014.
BFM began this endeavour by launching Project Smile and Project Pyinnya Tazaung, initial pilot projects in Pindaya township in Shan State and Phayargyi in Twantay, recruiting local volunteers and teachers from Singapore to provide a short education enhancement program and outdoor learning activities for students.
BFM has also established its scholarship programme, awarding scholarships on a need and merit basis for underserved communities in Chin, Shan, Karen, Magway, Mandalay, Mon, Kayah, Rakhine, Sagaing, Ayawaddy and Yangon regions. The programme focused on increasing literacy among these communities, as graduates are encouraged to return to their communities and share their knowledge with friends and family, and apply their skills to serve their locality. Today, the BFM Scholarship Programme supports over 1,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dental, Education, Computing, Economics, Business, Technology and Engineering, and Law. Over 50 % of scholars are women.
In 2017, BFM also supported KBZ – UWCSEA scholarships to the most promising candidates, selected by an independent UWC National Committee. One student from Kachin State recently completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma with UWCSEA and another from Karen State is currently enrolled at UWCSEA’s campus in Singapore. BFM also extended its scholarship programme to students in new private universities, including Myanmar Metropolitan College, Parami Institute and Pre Collegiate Program.
The Music Run in Support of the Blind Community
Brighter Future Myanmar partnered with KBZ Bank to host Myanmar’s first The Music Run™ in November 2014 to raise funds for Myanmar Association of the Blind. Proceeds from the registration of the run were donated to develop Myanmar Text-to-Speech engine software for students at schools for the blind. The software enables individuals with visual impairments to listen to digital books on a computer in Myanmar language. Over 10,000 participants – dubbed Music Runners™- walked, ran and danced for a 5km fun-run to their favorite beats, demonstrating their community spirit in supporting the blind.