Weaving Bonds supported our youth group in Shan State, Myanmar to learn about gender rights, peacebuilding and inner peace. As the youth in our Shan State program were experiencing issues related to gender, peacebuilding, historical trauma and lack of trust between different ethnic groups, a workshop was organized to build youth knowledge and understanding of peace and gender issues.
Weaving Bonds promoted women’s rights and women’s leadership by encouraging women to take the lead in our work and also training male participants about gender equality. In all our workshops, we gave our first consideration to young women who have less opportunities in their communities/societies. Women’s rights and women’s leader’s leadership are the main curriculum in all of our workshops, in particular, building trust and self-confidence among women, as well as training young men to understand women’s rights.
Weaving Bonds supports its alumni from marginalized communities to participate in forums/workshops through our alumni program, we motivate and support youth to spread out knowledge to their communities. WBAB supports its alumni to participate under the topic of Forums and Youth Leadership are such as Media and Storytelling skill. Alumni reported that the workshop has inspired to continually work with women issues in the state and will document women’s stories related to gender inequality and women’s rights to access to natural resources. The Asia Pacific Feminist Forum in which the alumni got a chance to talk to the donors and expand its networks among the Asian Pacific feminists. The staff also receives the opportunity to learn about organizational development under a feminist approach and security secure knowledge for human rights defenders and women’s rights for natural resource management at the regional level. The Mekong Youth Assembly Workshop has allowed alumni to increase understanding of the effects of Salween dams on individuals and families in the surrounding area, especially people of minority who do not have Thai nationality.
Weaving Bonds works to address issues of trauma, self-confidence and stress for activists in Myanmar. Being young activists facing inequality, war, and violence, it is critical to support youth in managing their stress and mental health. These workshops have helped participants to build a better understanding between each other, build inner peace among themselves and in their communities, and build up their individual confidence and belief in themselves.
Gender and water governance
The main goal of the Water Use Gender Workshop is to provide participants the capabilities of gender engagement in the project cycle, from designing the stage to the project evaluation stage. The first stage is a general approach to gender issues. The second stage is a gender perspective approach in conducting research. The last stage is to come up with solutions to issues in the Mekong Delta. The workshop reminds us that to make all projects effective, inclusive voices of vulnerable groups such as women, children, disabilities, indigenous people, etc. are the most important/ critical. Our alumni and staff gain skills in communication and project design, and participants learn how to design and implement training in their communities on gender and water issues, as well as project cycle management skills.