Proposals, deadlines, stories, translations, conferences, blogs, reports, exposure, field trips, sharing experiences and every sort of tasks and achievements that you can imagine are all part of this challenging six month journey.
Migrant issue is a huge challenge and to admit, sometimes, I just feel too small to overcome this. However, looking at things on a bright side, I have started to thoroughly understand the situation and acquire first-hand experience. Hopefully, I would be able to pick up and continue to overcome this challenge when I am more prepared. The words from the Capstone event that are still recurring in my head – This is not the end but a start, indeed.
Changing people perception is hard and I am grateful that this programme tackles this overwhelming challenge and to be part of it. As I always tell to my friends and fellows, trying to change the perception of others not only change theirs but also it has an impact on your perception too. I was quite aware of the situation of the migrant workers beforehand but joining this program also makes me even more aware of how they have been marginalised. Not only that, I used to have this perception that not much effort were put into protecting them. This has been proven wrong. During this journey, I have met so many marvellous and amazing people who have dedicated so much of their effort and energy in assisting the migrant workers. It is indeed one of the memorable and inspiring lesson that I learnt from this journey.
Remarkable events occurred during the time of the placement at HRDF and one special occasion that I want to point out is the changes in the government sector. It was quite interesting enough to observe how migrant workers are easily exposed to the environment around them. We have witnessed thousands of Cambodian migrant workers fled back to Cambodia. And within weeks, we saw the set up of national registration centres for the migrant workers. Changes were happening at a fast pace.
I recall helping in drafting the statements of HRDF and receiving emails from the different organisatons revealing the concern of the changes. Things are seemingly getting better, indeed. One of the most recent advancements was the release of two theatrical films, portraying the Burmese migrant workers in a way that has never been done before. Hopefully, things will keep going in the right direction and truly believe that Saphan Siang campaign will be part of the shift.
The six-month period of volunteer placement is indeed a long journey. I am more than thankful for the opportunity for letting me participate and the guidance given throughout this period. HRDF has been a marvellous place and I wish I had more time to dedicate my time at this organisation and thank you so much for your warm acceptance. Also, I am more than honoured to be among the Twelve Youth Ambassadors who are all amazing and inspiring! It takes more than courage to dedicate their time and effort to the people that they have even never met before. One last thing I would like to say is that I am more than excited to return to this programme as an alumnus and hopefully meet the future Youth Ambassadors!
Best Wishes to all,
Paing Hein Htet (Pai)