In March 2013, ‘The Future Group” Youth Leaders had a weekend camp at the Marist Community Prayer House on the edge of Ranong.
Over a weekend the Youth Leaders were helped to reflect on their lives, appreciate their Burmese Culture and the traditions of their different ethnic groups. Identifying what they were passionate about, how to set goals and develop a hope and plan for their future were some of the workshops and topics discussed together.
One of the leaders summarised the reflection of the group as they recognised how Burmese Culture influences their lives and plans for their future.
‘In Burmese culture, parents decide for everything for their children and we, as children, are not allowed to share our ideas and say no to parents decisions. But we have come to recognise from our learning that we are able to think about our own future and have the courage to share this within our family. Bit by bit our parents may understand us and we can negotiate with our parents.”
A number of the Leaders have a hope and dream to study the University Online Learning Programme offered at Marist Mission Ranong. One of the group shared that “I just don’t think about studying for myself anymore but I’m now thinking to help my own family and community with my work.”
The strong bonds of friendship have been growing with these leaders and a camp together helped them share and listen more deeply to each other.
In one exercise the leaders recognised that a common experience and desire was to help Burmese Migrant Children who were not able to go to schools.
One of the great experiences the Leaders enjoyed was sitting around the bonfire on the cold windy night and sharing in trust with their friends and Group Leaders the blocks and struggles they experienced in achieving their goals.