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Parami Students Published Multilingual Storybooks for Children in Ethnic Areas

To improve ethnic children's education, Parami Leadership Program (PLP) students have recently published multi-languages storybooks for children living in different ethnic rural areas in Myanmar. 

The children’s book project is one of the research projects from a research design class where the PLP students received hands-on experience to work on various research topics led by a research mentor during their first semester. 

The project includes five stories in six languages—English, Burmese, Mon, Jingpho (Kachin), Sagaw Karen, and Poe Karen. The primary information in designing each narration includes the kind of stories children like, characters that they love to watch or read, and the kind of movies or cartoon series they like to watch. With the data extracted from the research findings, the research group arranged and created each story relevant to the targeted age group.

Cover of Super Hero

Su Su Thant (Noel) is one of the members collecting first-hand information through an online survey and phone calls for the research group. Noel explained that "we did research focusing on children living outside of Yangon to get different data from children from other regions and to provide the children with equal access to storybooks."

She added that it is challenging for some children to read storybooks since only a few multilingual storybooks are available for children in some areas, like Mawlamyine, her hometown. Since the stories will be available in different formats—soft and hard copy, including audio, children from rural areas can access them freely.

A page from Super Hero

Another group member, Eh Kler Moo, shared about one of the stories they wrote called Ko Ko & Bog, about the intimacy between puppies and a little boy.

“Our inspiration for writing about the little boy and dog story is the valuable things we can learn from children like pure happiness, freedom, and love. True happiness and freedom are neither from our feelings nor our emotion but from our actions. In order to seek true happiness and freedom, we should learn from children, and we portrayed this through the creation of the “Ko Ko & Bog” story,” he said.

Aiming to provide age-relevant, colorful books based on children's preference, Hmuu Ngwe Sin Kyaw, facilitated her illustration skills and took care of all the fascinating and vivid colors and intriguing characters in the storybooks.

Hmuu expressed that “I was excited to be a part of this project as an illustrator for the books. I appreciate the team members I had to work with and truly thankful to Mark, our teacher, who guided us in working on this research project. We are not professional in creating stories and illustrating, but we tried our best for the children.”

The children's book project was conducted by 12 students: Su Su Thant, Mya Sue Khet, Nyein Su Thaw, Hmuu Ngwe Sin Kyaw, Htet Myat Aung, Ye Lin Oo, Saw Myo Myint Han, Saw Thiha, Yan Aye, Eh Kler Moo, Nay Lin Thu, and  Han Thu Ya. A Faculty in Social Science at the Parami Leadership Program, Dr. Mark Brown, supervised the group.

The five stories from this project include—1) Ko Ko & Bog, 2) Duckling Thaw Thaw, 3) Super Hero, 4) A Student, Traffic Police & Firefighter, and 5) Robot. Four out of five storybooks and audios are now available online.

To read and download the storybooks, click at this link.

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