Fel­low­ship pro­gramme rolled out for former po­lit­i­cal prison­ers

Mizzima Business Weekly - - CONTENTS -

FHI360 and USAID have started a joint pro­gramme to pro­vide fel­low­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties in news me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions and civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions in Myan­mar for former po­lit­i­cal prison­ers for six months.

The event to launch the pro­gramme was held at Se­dona Ho­tel in Yan­gon on July 9.

“By work­ing in the civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions and news me­dia, they will get a great deal of ex­pe­ri­ence. They have a lot of po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. So they will be able to share their ex­pe­ri­ences to the rel­e­vant or­ga­ni­za­tions. Af­ter the six-month fel­low­ship, they will get a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence by mu­tu­ally shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Then they will feel that they are not side­lined any­more and they will be able to par­tic­i­pate in pol­i­tics again. I think the pro­gramme will be able to as­sist the demo­cratic tran­si­tion,” said Aung Din, a di­rec­tor at FHI 360.

Mizzima is one of the me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions help­ing in this pro­gramme.

Sugges­tions were given in De­cem­ber 2016 to carry out the pro­gramme, and it was an­nounced that former po­lit­i­cal prison­ers can ap­ply for the fel­low­ship be­tween March and April 12, 2017. The se­lec­tion com­mit­tee se­lected 50 out of 162 former po­lit­i­cal prison­ers who ap­plied for the fel­low­ship. Nine out of the se­lected 50 former po­lit­i­cal prison­ers are women.

Mawkun Mag­a­zine’s chief ed­i­tor Za­yar Hlaing said that his or­ga­ni­za­tion is a news or­ga­ni­za­tion, so the former po­lit­i­cal prison­ers will have to be as­signed to pro­duce, hunt and write news.

“I tell them in ad­vance that our or­ga­ni­za­tion is a news me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tion. It is a pro­fes­sional or­ga­ni­za­tion. Ev­ery pro­fes­sional must fol­low rules and ethics. If some­one does not fol­low the ethics and rule, it is dif­fi­cult to call the per­son a jour­nal­ist. If so, the per­son can­not work as a jour­nal­ist. So they need to fol­low the ethics and rules,” he said.

Af­ter the six months, whether the news me­dia will con­tinue ap­point­ing the former po­lit­i­cal prison­ers as jour­nal­ists in the or­ga­ni­za­tion will de­pend on the qual­ity of their work and the bud­get of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The 88 Gen­er­a­tion Peace and Open So­ci­ety of­fi­cial Jimmy said: “They will get three ben­e­fits. They will be able to take part in the so­ci­ety again. This is the first ben­e­fit. The sec­ond ben­e­fit is that they will have to work as in­terns. If they are se­lected to a fel­low­ship at a me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tion, they will have to work in me­dia jobs. If they are se­lected to civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions, they will have ex­pe­ri­ences. The third ben­e­fit is that they will re­ceive Kyat 300,000 per month as an hon­o­rar­ium. So, the pro­gramme will as­sist their liveli­hood.”

Ten me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions that have been sup­ported by FHI 360 and 17 civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions will jointly un­der­take the fel­low­ship pro­gramme.

Some of the 10 me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions are DVB, Mizzima, My­it­makha, Mawkun Mag­a­zine, Mawlamyine-based Thanl­win Time, and Kayah State based Gan­dayawaddy Time.

Tri­an­gle Women Sup­port (Yan­gon), Myan­mar Peas­ants Union, Thanl­win Ci­ti­zen Em­pow­er­ment, the 88 Gen­er­a­tion Peace and Open So­ci­ety, and the As­sis­tance As­so­ci­a­tion for Po­lit­i­cal Prison­ers are in­cluded in the 17 civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Mizzima Me­dia ac­cepted five former po­lit­i­cal prison­ers as fel­lows. One of them is Than Zaw who was given a to­tal of 23 years in prison for his po­lit­i­cal be­liefs.

US Am­bas­sador Scot Mar­ciel, right, with a former po­lit­i­cal pris­oner. Photo: Mizzima

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.