Change Magazine July 2017 issue - Page 18

Our Stories are Changing Myanmar and the World MYANMAR A s the famous saying goes, By: Ei Pwint Rhi Zan We have raised money in “Every conflict has two sides.” the streets and at a local mall. As a social entrepreneur and However, we realized that we changemaker from Myanmar, needed to do something more I always believe that a “third” than donations for people in vision to resolve conflict and the camps. Apparently, not all create peace is highly essential. problems can be solved by do- nations. In 2012, Myanmar saw an increase in conflicts through- In 2014, in Teacher Min- out the country. Along with dy’s English class, we had a Thantzin Soe from Myanmar discussion about the lack of Storytellers and others from Burmese children’s books. In- different volunteer groups, I spired by our friend Swe Zin visited Kachin State in Myan- from Phaung Daw Oo Monas- mar to bring donations to peo- tic School who wanted to have ple escaping the civil war. books in her village library, we 15 discussed the importance of having stories in our own lan- guages that reflected our own culture. The “Third Story Project” acquired its name from the place where we would have our English classes called Third Story Monastic School. Coin- cidentally, because of the con- flicts that were happening in Myanmar, we wanted to focus on producing peace education stories to create a “third” vi- sion apart from the two sides of conflict.