Taking That First Step Together

In the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, a group was formed with like-minded people interested in helping the environment, going past national climate change efforts to focus on helping people and students in rural areas. Because they are so poor, they don’t have much time to think about their education. Not enough education means that they’re not aware of how best to maintain their environment for a better future, especially important since most of the impacts of climate change occur in their rural areas. And yet, at the same time, many people still require assistance in their day-to-day lives: some places don’t have enough food or water for survival.

People living in the countryside have always faced challenges with food, water, and climate change. They don’t have any food security, water security (by virtue of its scarcity), health security, or security for their livelihoods and development out of poverty. No matter how hard it is to solve the problems they pose, they must do so every day without the assistance education. Given this situation, if we want our friends in the countryside to take climate change matters into their own hands we need to support them in their struggles for basic needs before taking our message to them.

Our Myanmar Youth Group brought together people willing to help our environment and travel to meet monthly. We are not only focusing on climate change but also initiatives to donate books and other supplies for students living in rural areas, with the ultimate goal of raising awareness in youth as a part of our plans for Global Power Shift Phase 2 in Myanmar. The youth are the most important people in creating our better future. If they know why climate change is so important today, they will care for our environment tomorrow as adults. It’s our way of sustaining the environment.


So, we did what we could for the environment. On August 25th, 2013, we visited a school two-hours by bus from Yangon, also known as Rangoon. Most of the students are very poor and had limited knowledge on environmental topics. Following our Phase 2 plan, we tried to change that by providing these countryside students with environmental awareness. Before we visited the school we had arranged to provide many games and activities related to climate change. Unfortunately, we couldn’t communicate our message too much because of the weather and time considerations.

Our group has decided to motivate students just like these, the poor and undereducated, while providing them with knowledge on the environment so they can create their own positive actions and activities. This event was our own first activity, a first step in the fight requiring many steps for a better future.


(Post by Myo Myat Min, our GPS participant from Myanmar. Special thanks to Susan Kim who helped with the editing)