A Letter from Bobo Lwin, Myanmar

A Letter from Bobo Lwin, Myanmar

Dear friends of Ecologia Youth Trust, 

It’s my pleasure to write this short letter to honour the 25th Anniversary of Ecologia Youth Trust. I’m so proud of Ecologia’s commitment and work towards empowering youth and communities in need. Kalyana Mitta Foundation and Ecologia share many values and commitment on ecological sustainability and the resilience of grassroots communities in different regions of the world.  On behalf of KMF, I’d love to express our sincere appreciation to you for all the beautiful work you have contributed and the sweet memories in our hearts. 

It was a wonderful experience for both our organisations to implement a three-year project ‘We Love Inle’ during 2015-2018. We have recruited young people for our project and we gave priority to local youth for long-term impact. Now the youth who were involved in our project have become reliable senior staff contributing to new projects. They have contributed a lot for their local volunteer group Hnalonehla Inn Maung Mae (HIMM) which has become a strong youth CSO at Inle Lake. They have been very active in community empowerment, youth leadership, environmental conservation and advocacy for the rights of local communities in Inle.

In addition, KMF team in Yangon has gained experiential learning of project management such as M&E, reporting, tracking systems and financial management. Some of the staff members involved in the project became senior leaders in KMF as programme managers and project coordinators. KMF has gained confidence in operating such a big project and dealing with an international funding agency like Big Lottery Fund.  Thanks a lot tEYT for coordinating and supporting all the required assistance to KMF. It’s a great learning for our team both for best practices and challenges.  We did our best in deep consultation with local youth and communities and we made a good investment in assessment and in the project planning stage. Moreover, it’s also very supportive in empowering the young eco-farmers through participatory M&E and effective follow up support, as some of our eco-farmers have become community leaders and it’s fantastic to see their honorable commitment and contribution to community development. You should also come and see those villages again in Kaung Htu and Kaung Wa (in Phe Khon). Their community is really strong and the young eco-farmers are co-operating together for their village.  KMF applied participatory planning and decision making in most project processes and community empowerment for both project communities and the KMF team.

I should not leave out myself too. I’m so glad to have had a lot of technical support and mentoring support from Big Lottery funded consultants (Jess, Walra, Jane Rasbash) I myself learned a lot from the project and I could prepare to step out of my role in KMF and I am now studying for a PhD about Education for Sustainable Development in Myanmar in the UK. The second generation of my team are now managing KMF very aptly.

Lastly, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks for all your support and contribution to KMF and all other partners in the world and we do really wish that EYT will continue to do more active support for the youth and ecological movement.  

Happy Birthday to EYT!! 

– Bo Bo Lwin, Executive Committee Member and former Director of Kalyanamitta Foundation, Myanmar

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susie Kemp

Susie has 30+ experience as a creative copywriter, editor, and proofreader, starting out as a 20-year-old copywriter in the Mad Men world of early 1990s advertising in South Africa. Ever since, she’s had a love affair with creative conceptualisation, thinking outside of the box, writing to a deadline, and being thrown in the deep end!

She took an MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University as a mature student, in 2015, and continues to keep herself busy working as a copy-editor, proofreader and copywriter in book publishing, corporate communications, and publishing project management.

Apart from her love of working with independent authors, Susie has a fondness for working in the third sector and likes to use her corporate communications and marketing experience to support projects close to her heart. She has lived and worked in the Findhorn area for 25 years, and has been involved in a number of third sector projects and organisations, and family businesses.

Working at Ecologia Youth Trust helps Susie to live in integrity with her values of supporting the next generation to be the best that they can be, and she sees it as a way to give back to Mama Africa, the beloved continent on which she was born.

Ellen Shaw

Ellen joined the Ecologia team in June 2018 as Marketing and Communications Manager. Ellen has lived in Scotland for 6 years and has worked for non-profit and charitable organisations across varied fields. She currently shares her passion for helping young people through Ecologia Youth Trust and she works as a dancer and dance teacher in her spare time.

Robyn Cooper

Robyn is the Associate Director of International Projects, having previously worked within the team as a Project Development and Marketing Officer from April 2019 until May 2021. As Associate Director, Robyn is co-leading the International side of Ecologia with Founder and Director, Liza Hollingshead, bringing a new energy into Ecologia as they look towards the future of the charity.

Liza Hollingshead

Liza is the founder of Ecologia and Director of International Projects. She was born and educated in South Africa and worked there as a high school teacher. She moved to live in the Findhorn Community in 1974. She started Ecologia in 1995 after being introduced to Dmitry Morozov, the founder of Kitezh Children’s Community in Russia, and was inspired to support the community in its mission to rescue orphaned children from institutions and give them homes, families and education in a supportive environment.

This led to projects supporting disadvantaged youth and children in South East Asia and in East Africa. TRead more about Liza’s story here.