KT Care Foundation – 3 volunteer days in Yangon

One day, I found a project featured on Pozible, a crowdfunding website:

IT Literacy for Myanmar rural youth

It sounds quite interesting, so I decided to donate 40$AUD. Everyday I kept checking the website to see whether the project is funded.

Till the end, not enough money to raise. I feel so sad. From the bottom of my heart, I want to do something. I sent an email to Aye Aye Khine, project manager with a request to be a volunteer for the organisation.

My wish was granted. And it started my story at KT Care for 3 days @ Yangon.

KT Care Office at Yangon

2 weeks before the trip, I made a skype call to Aye Khine. Although the project didn’t get enough fund, but the project still continue. My responsibility will be IT support role which create a curriculum of IT skills for the project.

Arriving in Yangon

I arrived to Yangon in a very bad day. I was getting wet in the rain at Khaityo the day before. …4 am reaching Aung Mingala Bus station, the sky was so dark. I looked around and get a taxi to downtown.

I found a guest inn to stay. Calling to KT Care office at 9am, there is someone at the other end of the phone but she seemed didn’t know about my arrival. Whatever,I decide to call a taxi going directly to the office. Later I found out there are 2 persons name Aye Khine in the office.

KT Care

KT Care office locate in Anarata Housing Complex, near by Yangon university. I was assigned a desk to sit and work using my computer. It is the first time I see  an office in Myanmar. Sharing space with 2 other companies at the same level.

KT Care was original an organization from England, a charity organization working in various projects across countries. Starting in Myanmar from Cyclone Nargis 2008, there are many charity organizations’s appearance in this country.

HER project 

During my visit, KT Care Team in Yangon were working closely with BSR, a big charity organisation. One of BSR’s key projects, HER Project, is implemented the first time here. I met 2 pretty ladies, Jennifer and Rosa, who are representatives from BST. Their responsibility is to provide set up and guidance for project launched in a factory in Yangon’s outskirt.

This project aims to enhance women’s heath education among factory workers. More info can be found at this website.

The HER project creates a safety net for factories workers, where they can have their rights protected, have access to training and curriculum, learn about health and gain awareness on women’s health.

KT Care meeting

I got the chance to know more about how this project can impact to daily life of Burmese people. Definitely a eye opening experience in how these programs can benefit a large group of people. The pilot phase will endure for few months, then probably go to other factories. KT Care played a very crucial role in this program locally.

IT Support

Overhere, I worked with Hein Nan, a very young and enthusiastic person. He will go direct to the villages in rural areas to teach the kids of how to use computer and softwares.

As a technology savvy person, I use Skitch (an Evernote software) and PowerPoint to create simple curriculum of teaching MS Office. 3 days in fact was not enough for me to accomplish, but I was satisfied with what I delivered.

At the end, Aye Khine gave me a longyi as a gift. I felt so touched. And I worn it during Barcamp at Pyay.

It was so memorable. Hsu Mon, Rosa, Aye Khine, Namu Abe, Hein Nan, May, Monita. I miss you a lot.

WongFu Production – My 3 favourite videos

Strangers, Again

Every relationship goes through stages. Where and how each stage develops is ultimately up to each person. While we always hope for the best, we often can’t avoid the inevitable.

Stages:

  1. Meeting
  2. The chase
  3. Honeymoon
  4. Comfortable
  5. Tolerance
  6. Downhill

It is how we think about relationship. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great.

Josh and Marissa are at a crossroads and their future is uncertain. Josh guides us through each stage of the relationship as it formed and as he predicts it will end up as.

When Five Fell

Can the things we love, love us back just the same? Five household objects express their feelings toward their owner when she begins to neglect them for someone else:

  • cup
  • glasses
  • phone
  • umbrella
  • phone

“When Five Fell” is a new take on the ideal boy-meets-girl love story. Although the short is told from a unique and unconventional perspective, the emotions described should be familiar to anyone that’s fallen in or out of a relationship.

 

The Last

A simple question, “How many have you loved?” Is your answer, one and only? Or is it several, all of whom have shaped your life?

 

A story from random friend

One day in Saigon, I stayed at Budget Hostel, located at Cong Quynh street, district 1. I met a guy from USA who traveled to Vietnam alone. Before arrival to Vietnam, he has been to many country in America and Asia.

My first impression is shhht. What is this dude doing? He cooked food in a portable gasoline kit.  And it seems so dangerous that he cooks it on his bed, with all the linens and pillow around. Let’s call him J.

As I observed, J. only go out of the room to buy food. He seems scared of local food and he didn’t dare to eat anything. He only wants to cook himself.

J. is very smart, every day when I come back to hostel after visisting friends and attending event, I always had a little chit chat with J.

He told me that he was sick when he ate exotic food in Malaysia. Asian Food are different from USA. In US every piece of food is examined and got certificated of safety.

He pointed to his Italian pasta and tomato sauce.” Yes, this country make the best food ever” , and he trust it.

I recommended him to go to  some restaurants. However, the best food out there will be only found on the street and I bet J. never believe that.

There is one thing I learnt from him. Since the hostel is so poor equipped with facilities, I cannot get a stable connection with electricity. Thus, my laptop never get the full charge, or it is intermittent. The next day, I went out and find some solution.

I ask the reception and there is no more extra adapter. Keep the thinking that the adapter has some problem, I bought a new adapter. Hope that will work. Not believe myself enough, I bought another extention kit, with scollable cord (50k).

It turns out that it didn’t solve anything. J. tell me look at the problem. He turned off the power switch. To open the power outlet, he asked me to get a screw driver from the receptionist. Astonishing by what he convince me, I run down to the level 1 and manage to get one driver. J. opened the outlet, use the driver to tight the 2 contacted pins inside. And it works.

I cannot say anything but a thank to him. He taught him a valuable lesson. To solve a problem, I have to analyse it and think what possible the root of it. Later I went back to the store and give back the extension cord for half of the price(25k).

Sometimes, I learnt small things from random people. I appreciate that.

How to make a great barcamp

…Some notes from Barcamp Saigon

Event organizing requires a lot of detail. Basically it is everything. Even a small action may affect how the public judge an event.

It is how the organiser make the event. We can have just an event without food and T-shirt.

This year, building a Barcamp app on 3 mobile platforms is actually a new improvement, providing a new way to deliver the most fresh content of event to everyone. One of the app on Apple Store climb to the top app for business category in Vietnam. Awesome.

 Asking for sponsor is not easy. How to raise money and at the same time, protect Barcamp’s image. If this is “unconferenced event”, there are certain straight rules, but the format are flexible. Some barcamps divide topics into several sections with a specific theme, where there is a freestyle theme for other topic. In Singapore, there is one time Educamp is organised inside Barcamp.

80/20 principal

80% of work are completed in 20% of the total time. The last 2 month are the most crucial time, even though the preparation is 1 year. Everything needs a plan, failing to plan is planing to fail.

Another Barcamp?

If we want to organise Barcamp in other city, we need a community. We have to focus on real stuffs.

That is how Barcamp Saigon is vibrant through years. I wish Barcamp Hanoi can continue after 2 years 2010 and 2012.

By the way, there is an imbalance between technology-related and unrelated topics.

In 2012, there are only 800 attendees, but this year this event attract as many as 1500 attendees. The number of facebook registration is 3000+. As I noticed, during the last week, there are 1000 people signed up on facebook. That was so crazy.

Barcamp Saigon 2013

It was great Barcamp Saigon ever.

Attracting more than 1000 attendees, many rooms are fully packed with people. All are eager to know about something new. I heard that the registration part in the morning was crazy, but everything became fine and very smooth until the closing session.

In a session

In a session

The organisers even have a sharing talk “How to organise barcamp”, with Tomo and Minh. This time I met Anh Minh Do in person. He was really smart and charming guys. I couldn’t imagine barcamp without him. FYI, he has been with barcamp since 2008.

 

As normal as many meetup events, technology occupied a large portion of topics. Since this is an unconference event, people just need to come and register for what they want to share. I have a presentation too: “Travel in Myanmar”. I was kinda starting not so perfect, but till the end I find the audience are really interest in it. It made me happy.

Thay Philip

How to form a start up team

After the event, we went to Beercamp, which is a steam boat (lau de^) at 138, Street 9A, Trung Son. I talked with a lot of people. Make new friends. And I feel that this is the best part of the day.

image2

Let’s have some beer. That is why people call it beercamp

Some people suggests that next year we should have Barcamp Dalat. To me, I think there are so many youth interested in sharing and learning, then why don’t we organize it in big cities like Hanoi or Danang.