Playing its part to invigorate step by step change in the status of child labour, Telenor Myanmar and partners are running the successful Myanmar Mobile Education Project (myME) for children working in Telenor Myanmar’s branded teashops.
The myME Project was founded by a small group of people in New York City and in Myanmar who passionately believe that true reform for Myanmar starts with education. Telenor Myanmar has supported the myME project since November 2014, by implementing myME’s Non-formal education (NFE) program in its branded teashops in Yangon and Mandalay. Telenor Myanmar provides salaries for all myME staff, one bus that is used as a mobile classroom, and other school supplies including computers. In total, we have contributed over USD 300,000 as part of this partnership.
“Together with myME, we are proud to support the non-formal education programme (NFE) for the children working at our branded teashops. We believe that this will in some way contribute towards their getting a meaningful step up in life, as they equip themselves with the basic language and living skills that will help them secure gainful employment in their coming years,” said Min Thu, Head of Corporate Responsibility in Telenor Myanmar.
A project for out of school children
According to Tim Aye-Hardy, the founder of myME, “In Myanmar, five million children between age 5 and 18 are out of school and most of them are working at the places like restaurants, factories, hotels and homes”.
What myME provides, he says, is “practical non-formal education for these children, under a safe environment and with supervision of trained personnel. We teach them about basic computer skills, life skills, and others, in order to provide them with the basic skills and self-confidence to secure better employment in the coming years.”
Non-formal Education goes a long way
myME’s mobile classroom ensures that teachers, quality education, and study materials are easily accessible to the children who join the program. Each child is offered six hours of lessons per week. In addition to the opportunity to learn basic literacy, math and computer skills, the young students will also be taught life skills such as developing analytical thinking skills through interactive instruction and basic knowledge of personal hygiene and understanding of preventable diseases.
In October 2015, myME celebrated the first graduation ceremony for the children who completed myME’s non-formal education (NFE) program, at its first level. Yadana Aung is a young worker from a tea-shop who graduated from level one of the programme. “I’m very happy to be at this graduation ceremony. I have learnt subjects about English, life skills and health. Now, I can deal with foreigners in English. I want to study more about English and Computer skills for my future.”