The most recent Equal Access to Information Society in Myanmar project by the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation aimed to improve digital literacy in villages throughout the country, using libraries as the focal point for different types of outreach and education. The plan was to bring together and scale three different pillars in service of this overall goal: Mobile Information Literacy, Tech Age Girls, and the Business Startup Development Program. They respectively aimed to bring the education out to the villages via community libraries, empower and educate local young women to uplift their own communities, and boost business capabilities.
A month into the project, on February 2021, Myanmar experienced enormous political upheaval and a change in government. Activities were disrupted and safety concerns became paramount.
Despite this, and with great caution, the project continued. Today, Tech Age Girls (TAG) participant Hsu Myat Mon shares her story:
“When I saw the TAG program announcement from Lay Eain Su Library, I wanted to join the program. Before the TAG program, I’m shy, afraid to speak in front of people and very basic knowledge in digital literacy skills. It is obvious that I have enhanced my digital literacy skills and motivated to communicate with others, good communication skills, team spirit and I can lead and share the ICT knowledge to others. Because of TAG program, I have extended the network and got a part-time job where I can support my family as well.”
“As a small village, there is no library and don’t have much knowledge about reading habits. Parents don’t know how to make their children get the reading habit. I have collected some survey data and decided to do the mobile library services. Target audiences are aged from 5 to 16. The reason why I chose this range is to get reading habit since they are young. I have been implementing successfully by collaborating with parents and community people. Most children’s books are borrowed by Lay Eain Su Library, and some are donated by community people. Now, the mobile library services will be continued sustainability with the support of parents and community people.”