State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, accompanied by Union Minister U Min Thu and officials, visited Thanlyin Youth Training School, run by Social Welfare Department of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement on Kyaikkauk Pagoda Road at Amhuhtan Ward, in Thanlyin Township, Yangon Region at 10 am yesterday.
The State Counsellor was welcomed by Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye, Chief Minister of Yangon Region U Phyo Min Thein, Deputy Minister U Soe Aung, cabinet members of regional government and youths of the training school.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi looked around the school and cordially conversed with the trainees.
At the briefing hall, Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye reported to the State Counsellor on salient points of the school. The State Counsellor looked into the requirements through departmental coordination.
Then, the State Counsellor gave advice to the trainees. She said I have come here to identify the situation and the requirements of the school, its requirements, the better ways for its improvement and the extent of success in realizing its aim of caring for the trainees.
But the teachers in the centre alone cannot bring success as your efforts are of vital importance. You must try hard. You may have different backgrounds, but you must change yourselves, and never come back again to this centre. So, you will have to take care of yourselves and make self-improvement. Will, that is the first thing you all need. You all must think for yourselves, especially to avoid doing the same mistake again. Surely, trainers in the centre will render help as much as they can. Trainee population here is very high. Initial aim was to accept 150, but the actual figure now is over 400. So, you need to help your trainers. A centre like this is not to administer punishment, but to help the youth. Most people see it as a punishment centre. But you should not see it as a punishment centre. You just see the centre as a place to correct you.
So, make use of the advantages here and improve yourselves in the best way, because in the end, you will realize that the only person who can help you is you. Whatever efforts a person makes he cannot help you like you can for yourselves. You must have a goal and self-confidence. You must realize this, and try to reach your goal. Where there’s a will there’s a way! So, you need the will and efforts. But it won’t be easy to reach your goal. You must realize your wish. You need time and ways and means to materialize your wish. So you all should have the belief that you can correct yourselves.
Most of you arrive here for drug cases. Drugs are not playthings. They are not things to be tested. Some try to taste them, as their friends are abusing drugs. Some youths are lured into drug abuse. As soon as you know the taste you are already addicted, and drug addiction brings a lot of evil consequences. You need the determination to quit drugs. Relying on drugs means you are not relying on yourselves. You are like depending on an outside element. Instead of thinking that this little drug will give you peace of mind, you must rely on yourselves. You must have the resolve and trust in you. Reckless actions lead nowhere.
Stimulant tablets are neither heroin nor No. 4. But they cause a serious problem. A person will face ill consequences even after he has quitted the stimulant drug addiction. There is no proper treatment method till now. So, do not harm yourselves with drugs. Drug addiction ruins a person’s life. In addition to harming you, drug addiction also causes problems in a society. So, you should think twice before starting this evil habit.
Drug addiction is followed by a series of criminal activities. A drug addict will rob or steal money whenever he needs. So he will be punished for his crimes. So, it hurts him a lot. But you can correct yourselves at any time. The only thing required is the resolve. The second you make your decision is the first step towards changing yourselves. Never lose your spirit even if things do not go accordingly. You must try again, because you have the chance to do so. Opportunities appear every second all along your life. Never lose your spirit even if you fail. You need to get more efforts under your belt to reach your goal.
Life is a struggle. Life is not boring, because your qualifications improve through these struggles. You can help your society. Youth have an invaluable advantage, and it is time. They have future as they have 50 or 60 more years to live. Old people have less remaining time. So, time is the strength of youth. So you should not misuse your strength. You should wisely use your time. You should use your time for the betterment of your life. You can help others only when you are enjoying a good life. Time is precious. You must be born to help your family at one time. Man cannot survive alone. He needs society.
He must have a community that will help one another. His life will be meaningless if he cannot pay something back to his community. So, you all should try to contribute something to your community.
When I asked if you had any requirement, some answered that they did not have any. But there must be requirements. You should train yourselves to frankly discuss your problems with youth trainers. But your demands and requirements must be reasonable. They must be positive. Some demands seem simple, but they may have insincere intention. You should stay away from such practices as honesty is the best policy. I wish you all to step ahead, correct yourselves and achieve success through honest ways. Never lose spirit. You youths have the tool which is called time. Correctly use this tool and enjoy a worthy life. Please do not waste your time.
Here you have less time. You may be here for six months or a year or one and a half year to the most. One-and-a-half-year is not a long time. It’s not easy to change a person in this time. It will be more difficult if the time is less than six months. The main aim of such centres is to change the mindset of youths to prevent them from turning to the wrong side again. But it isn’t easy to change the mindset of a teen in less than six months. But his ardent involvement can bring progress. There can be progress even if it is not a total success in changing him. So, try hard for progress.
Young people eat food daily, and they grow up gradually. Likewise, if that try to change their mind bit by bit, one day they can make a big difference. So, you should try daily. It’s not a day’s work. Like you need the daily diet, you need daily efforts. In this way, you should help your trainers. The centre has only 16 trainers. In fact, there should be 24, and that number is still low. Reinforcement should be made to the most possible degree. So, they can fulfill the needs of youths more.
But the actual need is your involvement. Helping them will also benefit you a lot. Your qualifications will improve, and the functions of the centre will be much better. You will have more confidence and will to take responsibility. You should have the spirit of taking responsibility for yourselves and your community. You should try to be open with your trainers when it comes to your requirements. But I am not sure the trainers would agree with it or not. But what I want is a frank and transparent relationship between the trainers and trainees. If trainers have the problems for this kind of relationship on their part, they should explain it.
Necessary support is guaranteed. I have discussed with Union Minister Dr. Win Myat Aye the lack of an extra place for sports activities at the centre. Sports and physical exercise make you pleasant and healthy. So we are finding a place for such activities. The centre has no vacant place for playing football. So the centre cannot provide sufficient care. We are trying to fulfill those requirements, and the youths here should also join hands with us. Everybody is responsible for his life because no one is going to take this responsibility. You should understand this.
Learning your own school lessons or eating your food or doing your own business is also included your responsibility. So take your own responsibility. It is no good if your life is under other’s control. A life under other’s control will not be pleasant and independent. You should seriously consider this. You must have the courage to shape your future.
So you should be serious whenever you are dealing with a business. Here I would explain the definition of perseverance. Normally it means making efforts for success. It has four stages. The first stage is the aim. It is just an aim and not an action. The second stage is the beginning, but it depends on the third stage. The determination to continue the work even in the face of difficulties is the third stage. But the final stage is the courage to restart even in the face of failure. That is the highest part of perseverance. So, you need the perseverance in rebuilding your life. First you make a determination, continue according to the determination, overcome all difficulties, and raise your spirit to resume your quest even after the failure caused by the growing difficulties.
Take your own responsibility. Never let your life falls into other’s hands. Never let your life falls under the influence of lifeless objects. If you fail to do so, you will be nothing. If you cannot take your own responsibility you will be unworthy. Everybody can take his own responsibility, but he needs the will, nerve and perseverance. So try hard, and put forward every requirement. There are boxes for sending written suggestions. But the suggestions should be appropriate and polite. A human value depends on politeness and morality. Some count rudeness and roughness as strength. Actually, it’s not the strength, it’s the weakness. Ask politely and know your value. You must think of yourself worthy and also act accordingly.
Every man is worthy. It’s not easy to be a man. In religious treatises, we have learnt that to be born as a human is more difficult than a pin falling from haven and a pin ascending upwards touch one another. So, you should lead a worthy life. I have a lot of knowledge of the school during my visit in the morning. So I have come to know what sort of requirements are here. Some can be solved in a short time. But others will take time. Moving this centre to another place won’t happen in a short time. But we can appoint more staff in a short period. We will fulfill other short-term requirements. But we will have to take time for the long-term requirements. Finally, I am proud and happy to know that you youth trainees try hard at your lessons. You will have to improve your life through efforts. So, continue to make efforts. I wish you all a better future.
The State Counsellor presented donations to the school through the principal U Thitsa.
The school focused on child protection included in infant care and development and child protection, one of the tasks of the Social Welfare Department.
The YMCA youth care team was set up on 3 October 1929 with the aim of caring and educating street youth in Yangon. The team opened a centre at No. 320 Anawrahta Street on 1930. it was then moved to Boundary Road (Dhammazedi Road) in 1939 as a temporary youth care centre. The new Yangon youths centre was set up at No. 64 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road in 28 May 1955 under the support of the Ministry of Social Welfare. It was transferred to the Social Welfare Department on 30 November 1962 under the name “Kaba Aye Youth Training School.” It was then moved provisionally to centre for children with disabilities at No. 65 Kyaikwaing Pagoda Road on 25 March 2011. It has become Thanlyin Youth Training School after moving to the current place in Thanlyin Township on 14 March 2012.
The school can accommodate only 150 trainees. The new Child Rights Law enacted in 2019 raises the age of youth to under-18. As the number of youths who need care increases by three times, the school needs more space and staff.
In the afternoon, the State Counsellor met the Chief Minister and cabinet members of Yangon Region Government at the office of the region government.
Union Ministers U Min Thu, U Soe Win, U Thaung Tun, Dr. Aung Thu, U Thant Sin Maung, U Win Khaing and U Han Zaw, Deputy Minister U Hset Aung, departmental heads and officials were also present.
At the meeting the State Counsellor inquired about the progress in accelerating efforts to ensure the rule of law and community peace in Yangon Region, sufficient potable water supply, development of power, energy and industrial sectors, development of urban and road transport, human resources development and better employment opportunities, urban and housing development, modernization of old and new towns in line with the city characteristics, growth in national trade and foreign investment, stronger health and education foundation and higher momentum in the development undertakings. The Yangon Region Chief Minister presented a report on the progress of work, and Union Ministers submitted sector-wise supplementary reports.
In response, the State Counsellor said it is a must for the Yangon Region Government to solve the public problems in a transparent way. The core of the success is the extent of available strength. The issuance of transparent, comprehensive and simple public announcements is the important duty of the region government. —MNA(Translated by TMT)