Change Magazine July 2017 issue - Page 20

WHERE WE ARE TODAY We have donated over 160,000 storybooks to children from all over Myanmar and conduct- ed 42 trainings in nearly three years. It helped us to fulfill an- other mission of ours which is to share cultures across reli- gious and ethnic divides, thus creating better understanding. We are constantly innovating and working in collaboration with other organizations, vol- unteer and corporate groups. Our new innovative project is called “Pass it on” in part- nership with Hla Day, a social enterprise craft store that en- courages responsible tourism. When tourists visit the shop, they can purchase our Library in a Box so that their tourism dollars will go directly into pro- viding books for kids. We then work with volunteer groups and teachers to deliver the li- braries to their communities. The donors write a postcard to the kids who receive them and the kids will then send a post- card back to them. It’s a beau- tiful way to connect the world through stories. Our hard work paid off Because of our hard work, we were given the Young Social Entrepreneur Award in 2016 by the Myanmar Young En- trepreneur Association. In just a short time, we have accom- plished a lot and reached thou- sands and thousands of chil- dren. We could not have come this far without help from hun- dreds of dedicated volunteers working to make this country better. The Third Story Project, a collaborative ef- fort between the Myanmar Storytellers and the Benevolent Youth Association, is creating and producing a series of children’s books in Burmese and other ethnic languages to distribute to children around Myanmar. The stories are written and illustrated by Myanmar artists for a Myanmar audience and address issues of peace, tolerance and diversity. 17