Oxfam’s partner workshop in Hanoi. Photo: Savann Oeurm/Oxfam

Learning Innovations from the Next Generation

Oxfam recently organised the Annual meet for the program partners across the region to share and learn from each other’s work experiences.

Being new to the team, this was a great opportunity for me to interact with the program partners and understand the challenges of civil society organisations in the five Mekong countries (Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand).

Although the group was diverse in multiple aspects including working levels i.e. people working at the grassroots, subnational and national level, regional and international levels, language, areas of expertise age groups, country context etc., it was visible that “Mekong” holds them all together.  Their enthusiasm to work with each other for the free-flowing Mekong especially the way the youth in the room were participating in the discussions was very motivating.

The overwhelming participation by the youth especially from the indigenous communities of Cambodia and from Mekong Delta of Vietnam was re-assuring that the next generation is ready to take ownership and raise collective voices for the issues affecting their communities.

 During the group discussions, it was interesting to see the young participants convincing others to think about technology and digital innovations in their program approach and why it’s important in the current context. Having young people in the room boosted the energy in the workshop, the excitement to come forward and talk about the work they have been doing and to ensure their suggestions are heard by the other participants in the workshop was very encouraging for me.

 It’s a completely different experience to hear about the achievements of the people personally as compared to reading emails or reports and after meeting and listening to all the champions I feel more motivated and more connected to the people we are working with.