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6 January 2020 - Story

Innovative ‘Shift’ Project raises the voices of Myanmar youth

Shift - Air Quality Yangon

Save the Children has launched an innovative new project called ‘Shift’ which aims to support democracy building and youth participation across Myanmar.   

 Shift is a digital campaign accelerator project that links grass roots youth advocacy movements, with creative agencies – and provides mentorship, digital literacy and skills development to participants. Small grants are then issued to support the actualisation of youth-led campaigns for positive causes. 

The first three Shift-supported campaigns will be launched between December 2019 and February 2020, with three different youth groups tackling three major issues – sexual harassment, air pollution and waste management. 

Creator of Shift, Andy Nilsen from Save the Children, says that the project is all about giving young people in Myanmar a platform to discuss the issues that matter most to future generations. 

“Young people in Myanmar have the passion and energy to make positive contributions towards their country’s future, but they often feel isolated from decision making processes - and this can eventually lead to disengagement. Shift is all about giving young people the tools they need to make a difference. If future generations can see early in life that they have a voice, they are far more likely to become active citizens as adults.”

“Young people need to be empowered to make decisions for themselves - and that process starts with older people listening to them. The project uses co-design as a key principle as well as other activities that mirror how business startups are nurtured.”  

19-year-old Zaw Win Htet is a member of Air Quality Yangon, who came together to raise awareness of Yangon’s growing air pollution problem. He said that he has learnt a lot through participating in the Shift project. 

"Previously I’ve worked with my team members on air pollution, but we only got to study about air pollution in the city and to collect data on that, but all those numbers don’t really mean anything if we can’t use that to change something. Through this workshop I’ve learnt to convert these numbers to something that could  be influential, could change people, and raise awareness about this issue.”

Following its pilot year, the Shift project will hopefully be expanded to support more youth in 2020 and beyond. To find out more about the Shift Project, visit our Facebook hub: