There are numerous organizations that do educational initiatives these days. With volunteers and resources, one can easily establish an educational program. But the problem with this is that many have the passion to start projects but are unable to sustain them.
To learn more about sustaining a good education program, Diinsider spoke with two promising initiatives in Myanmar.
Manawramma Gratis Monastery Educational Institution was founded by U Waryameinda in 1998 in Yangon, Myanmar. It is the longest running organization focusing on education in the country. They offer free language classes in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and tactical skill classes like accounting, computer and many more.
Care Teens is an organization run by teenagers. Established in June 2014 with 500 members today, the organization is running recycling projects and donation trips. They also teach basic education and personal development to students.
Photo from Manawramma Gratis Monastery Educational Institution
When it comes to sustainability, U Waryameinda suggested that the core team and those who play key partners should have a uniform vision of their goals. This way, the team would grow in unison.
Organizing the team could not be done alone. Care Teens founder Ye Ye Oo shared that a projected plan and clear job descriptions are needed for each member in an organization. Without a clear job description, volunteers would not have direction. He highlighted that it could weaken the management and could possibly result to miscommunication.
Ye Ye Oo shared that he calls for a meeting once a month. During the meeting he usually presents what Care Teen is currently doing and how they are approaching their goals. He also describes different projects descriptions and calls for volunteers at that time. In this way, he can guide his volunteers systematically.
Some organizations are running with initial capital money. If the capital money is reduced to zero, the organization will not thrive and operations could be stopped.
Different organizations have different methods in fundraising. For example, Manawramma institution is a kind of monastery educational institution and therefore, they rely on donations. On the other hand, for the teenagers running Care Teen, they focus on internal fundraising rather than external. They collect membership fees monthly. They make charity shows both for fundraising.
“Without thinking of passing to the next generation
is a failure for an organization”
It is important for organizations running an education program to connect with the right teachers who are passionate in teaching. “Without thinking of passing to the next generation is a failure for an organization,” Ye Ye Oo said.
He also stressed that poor management is not the main cause of the failure of an organization, but the lack of a good next generation. To ensure that this won’t happen, he included mostly young people in his management team so they will learn to run the organization at an early stage.
“Teacher must commit fully according to their routine and must not look for benefits, fame or publicity,” U Waryameinda shared. He advised that the team or volunteers should not have an ego and look for their own benefits. If volunteers only do their part for personal interest, then the organization will not survive.
Photo from Care Teens
In conclusion, these are the following points for non-profits that have initiatives on the education sector:
- Have a strong vision and align with those who have the same vision as you.
- Volunteers must not join for selfish reasons.
- Every organization should have a concrete financial plan.
- For sustainability, one should think of passing on the program to next generation.
- Every member should have a professional mindset.