FHI 360 Provides Fellowships for Former Political Prisoners

By Thazin Hlaing 23 March 2017

RANGOON — US-based non-profit development organization FHI 360 will provide 50 fellowship opportunities in Burma for former political prisoners incarcerated between 1988 and 2010.

Selected candidates will have the opportunity to work with civil society organizations (CSOs) or independent media organizations in advocacy, public dialogue and public interest reporting in support of the country’s democratization and national reconciliation processes, according to FHI 360’s announcement.

The fellowship is part of the FHI 360’s Civil Society and Media Project, a four-year project between September 2014 and September 2018 supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The project aims to support local CSOs and independent media organizations in Burma by encouraging engagement in democratic processes and policy dialogue, and increasing access to information on democratic governance and reform issues.

The fellowships run from July to December 2017 and selected fellows will be placed in one of FHI 360’s 29 civil society or media partner organizations—19 CSOs working on advocacy and public dialogue and 10 independent media organizations engaged in public interest reporting.

They will be provided with a monthly stipend of 300,000 kyats, a mobile phone and a laptop computer, which they can keep if they successfully complete the fellowship.

“There are some restrictions,” said U Bo Kyi, joint secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and a member of the body to select fellows. “Those who already have a job with regular income or those who are serving as the leaders of a particular organization are not eligible for the fellowship.”

Fellowship applicants must send a brief biography including information on their imprisonment, educational background, and areas of interest to the FHI 360 office in Rangoon.

Members of the FHI 360 board who will select candidates include representatives from the AAPP and the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society.

At the end of the fellowship, fellows will receive a certificate of successful completion jointly issued by FHI 360 and the host organization.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko