Yangon — Plan International Myanmar is proud to announce the launch of a virtual youth-led education and protection campaign together with UNICEF.
The first of its kind, this innovative campaign is spearheaded by 125 young leaders, with over 700 over their peers, in Mandalay region and Kachin state to raise awareness related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to promote reporting pathways for child protection and gender-based violence issues during this time of increased isolation.
As restrictions have increased, the risk of violence against children and gender-based violence has been proven to increase dramatically as a result as evident in countries such as China, India, and Singapore. Due to the digital gender divide, women and girls are less likely to have access to reporting pathways and reliable information.
Young people step up
Plan International Myanmar’s Country Director (Mr) Kelland Stevenson said, “We are deeply encouraged by young people’s resolution and ability to step up into leadership roles to help others during the pandemic. In solidarity with historical youth-led movements in Myanmar, this campaign will particularly amplify girls’ voices and enhance their ability to promote change as leaders.”
At both national and state/regional levels over the next 6 months, this campaign will:
- Empower adolescents and youth to take leadership roles in educating and protecting their communities and one another while leveraging digital technology.
- Produce resources related to child protection and gender-based violence with half a million people, combined with ways to seek help from the government.
- Call upon communities to protect children, especially girls, from violence, neglect, exploitation and abuse.
Adolescent and youth-friendly materials will be produced in both Myanmar and Kachin languages to be shared on social media and other channels such as an interactive voice response platform, which will allow communities without internet to access information.
Safe spaces for girls
This campaign will create safe spaces, through moderated private chat groups, for girls to discuss pressing issues they face and subsequently support one another. “As a young woman, I see the virtual campaign as an opportunity for us to acquire leadership skills and a first step for us to become great leaders,” says Ma Ei Thandar Khaing from Nyaung U.
Looking at the campaign’s sun ally symbol, Ma Htu Mai from Myitkyina said, “I call upon fellow youth leaders to share our newly acquired knowledge with our peers and communities so that we can protect one another.”
The youth-inspired motto of the campaign is, "When they go quiet, we go loud." Join #YouthProtect to stop violence against women and children. Who will you protect?
For media interviews or more information, please contact:
Dr. Mann Htet Naing, MannHtet.Naing@plan-international.org, 09 421013295
About Plan International
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children and young people’s rights and equality for girls.