Home>April 2021>‘The roar of a nation,’ hope stirs the next generation of Myanmar

‘The roar of a nation,’ hope stirs the next generation of Myanmar

This is one of the most challenging historical moments for our Jesuit partners and those people they serve in Myanmar, after the military seized power over the democratically elected government in a shocking coup on 1 February. More than 700 people have since been killed by security forces, the majority of whom were peacefully protesting for a return to democracy and the release of political leaders.

However, hope has been reignited in the next generation of students from the Jesuit Mission supported Myanmar Leadership Institute (MLI), which celebrated its second graduation ceremony on 19 March amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup.

Twenty-two students from the second cohort received a diploma and certificate in Leadership Development in collaboration with the Ateneo de Manila University and six students received the professional certificate in Peace Leader Studies from Jesuit Worldwide Learning.

“Leadership is not about position, it is a way of life, understanding the value of human dignity. It is completely service oriented. I would like to thank the teachers of MLI for the knowledge you passed on to us and for helping us grow in every way possible."
Graduating MLI student

Since its inception in 2018, MLI has been forming a generation of leaders that prioritise social justice, to lead with competence and compassion. Its courses range from a one-year Diploma in Leadership program to a ten-week Certificate in Business Communication program.

Many of the students of MLI come from ethnic minority groups and are now more determined than ever to overcome decades of conflict that has stunted the educational, social and infrastructural development of the nation.

“We now live amid the roar of a nation. Books will be written about this Burmese Spring Revolution…. But it is into such a world as ours at this turning point of Myanmar’s history, that great ideas come as gently as doves, the gentle stirring of life and hope. That is the reason for your study. That is the reason for studying leadership, for trying to understand its constituent elements: such as empathy, resilience, collaboration, trust, respect, courage, creativity, forethought and the techniques of planning, management and networking. Hope is rooted in the past, but believes in the future.”
The Mission Superior

During the graduation ceremony a moment of silent prayer was offered to honour those who have lost their lives since 1 February.

Please keep the people of Myanmar in your thoughts and prayers.

First Spiritual Exercises - Boosting Gratitude

Let us join together in the Prayer of Boosting Gratitude, written by Fr Michael Hansen SJ, National Director of the First Spiritual Exercises Program.

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