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12 August Aug 2020 1221 12 August 2020

Myanmar. Yaw Mai pursues his dream of owning a motorbike repair shop

He is one of 74 selected young internally displaced people and one of two persons with disabilities who participated in the Vocational Education to Support IDPs and Host Communities (VESI) project funded by Lift and implemented by AVSI in the Government Technical High School (GTHS) of Bhamo

AVSI Myanmar Yaw Mai 2

Yaw Mai has been living in the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) Man Si camp in Kachin State, Myanmar, since 2011, when the civil war erupted between the Kachin Independent Army and the Government Military. He always wanted to learn about motorbike repairing. However, after completing a few introductory classes, he never had the opportunity to attend a course or training that would allow him to acquire the necessary skills to actively work in the field.

In February 2020, AVSI’s project team in Bhamo conducted information-sharing sessions in camps to advise interested applicants on various vocational training opportunities, including motorbike, computer and electrical wiring courses. Luckily, Yaw Mai lives in one of these camps. When hearing about the opportunity, he was immediately eager to apply to the motorbike repairing course.

After applying, Yaw Mai was pleased to learn that he was selected to participate. Before starting the vocational training, he attended the opening ceremony in GTHS Bhamo, where he had the chance to meet fellow trainees, teachers and AVSI staff. He then attended a three-day pre-training workshop for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) short courses and the Life Skills and Business Skills Training in GTHS Bhamo. In March 2020, he started attending the motorbike repairing course.

His knowledge and skills both theoretical and practical improved substantially. Today, he continues to practice repairing motorbikes in the Man Si camp. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic however, the GTHS, like all other educational facilities, had to close down suddenly. Yaw Mai is therefore currently staying at home, but he is nevertheless looking forward to the GTHS reopening for him to continue his training as soon as possible.

In the future, he wishes to own and run his own motorbike repair shop. He looks forward to completing the course as well as the internship programme offered by the project.


The LIFT-funded VESI project is a 3-year initiative to expand the livelihood opportunities for internally displaced persons and host communities by delivering market-oriented vocational training and job matching services in Kachin and Northern Shan States. The project is managed by a consortium led by ADRA and is implemented through local partners, including HTOI Gender and Development Foundation, GRIP Hands Organization and the Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training. It has a particular focus on expanding inclusion of marginalised groups through strengthening access for women, youth and people with disabilities to training and employment opportunities in non-farm sectors.