Friday 27 April 2012, 15:04
My name is Thang Kim and I present Lin Lat Kyair Sin ('Young Stars With Shining Futures'), a new 15-minute weekly radio programme for young people on the BBC's Burmese Service. There are so many important subjects that Burmese people can now begin to explore and express for themselves. With this programme, we're giving young people the opportunity to discuss and debate the issues that concern their future.
This year finally witnessed an end to the military regime we have had since the 1960s. Following the general election at the end of 2010, the military political system has been replaced with a more civilian administration. The new system is modelled on what the government calls 'disciplined democracy' and has raised many new challenges – beginning a fledgling democracy is a steep learning curve for us. Ordinary citizens have been so used to not being allowed to speak out, so how do they begin to know how this new era can benefit them?
While preparing for the show over the last couple of months, we have got to know the changing world of Burmese young people. We want Lin Lat Kyair Sin to be a platform that genuinely responds to young people and motivates them to pursue their dreams.
Radio reaches far in Burma. The government's tolerance around people being able to discuss and share information appears to be genuine, at least for the moment. More freedom of expression exists now than a year ago and people are becoming more willing to talk openly. We hope that our very own 'Young Stars with Shining Futures' will be taking part in the weekly programmes.
Our country is facing so many challenges and the radio show offers a space where people can share ideas, and we hope, start to come up with solutions.
A lack of access to education and high unemployment are serious problems for us. In the first episode, we have asked people from around the country what jobs they would most like to do. Businessman/woman, an NGO worker or a singer came out top. We then spoke to people doing these jobs to find out how they got there. We also explored how to boost your employability by talking to an apprentice car mechanic outside Toungoo in central Burma, and to library users in Rangoon who are trying to extend their education through adult learning. It's all about helping the listeners and those who take part share ideas and find solutions for themselves – there's nothing quite like it in Burma!
All of the radio content is underpinned by reseach and it's research that has been delivered by some amazing trainees that have been working with BBC Media Action to enhance their media skills. As well as producing the radio show, we are also training young journalists on the ground. They contribute to the programme by recording stories from the 'stars' in their communities.
The weekly programme has a Facebook page where we will be in touch with our audience between programmes, making sure we get their views and ideas for upcoming topics.
If people want a voice in running a democracy we need to make those voices heard.
Join our conversation on BBC Burmese for every Saturday evening broadcast, or contact us at on Facebook.
Go back to the BBC Media Action website