"Inspiring and Nurturing the Creative Spirit in Myanmar."

 

Mission

To release the promise of human creativity by providing services that inspire people to see and progress towards a different future far beyond what we all had imagined.

Ambition

Myanmar—a country where creativity is the go--to competency of current and future generations of citizens who are advancing meaningful change—one school, one organization, and one township at a time.

ABOUTUS

The Institute for Myanmar United is an award winning service learning and civic engagement-providing organization that collaborates with our community partners in Myanmar to build a nation.

 

If you would like to mail a donation, please download

our donation form.

"We build creative confidence so that a different future can be imagined." 

IMU does 4 things.

1. People who participate in our program are moved and transformed by their experiences      in Myanmar. As a result,they want to return but do not have the means to do so.

IMU sponsors alumni to go back and continue where they left off with their volunteer and civic engagement work.

2. People who go to Myanmar have taken on mentorship roles. 

IMU sponsors alumni to mentor future cohorts of students that travel abroad to do civic engagement work.  

3. There are experts from several professions that want to volunteer.

IMU places experts with nonprofit, public service and humanitarian organizations in Myanmar. 

4. Burmese refugees want to reconnect with their heritage.

IMU partners refugees with students, experts, and alumni doing work in Myanmar.

 

 

 

Purpose

Purpose

Creative Problem Solving

Nielsen & Thurber (2010) based on the work of Puccio & Miller (2003).

The Institute for Myanmar United is an independent nonprofit organization. We promote social justice by helping the people of Myanmar to become more confident in their creative problem-solvingcreative leadership and creative teaching competencies to address the educational, social and economic challenges facing their country today and in the future, and it does so in collaboration with experts, educators, alumni, and students who mentor and partner with Burmese refugees.

IMU Values

We value GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP as a means to promote empathy,

a felt responsibility to act and social justice.


We commit to CIVIC ENGAGEMENT and SERVICE LEARNING as sources of transformation.

 

We strive for increased CREATIVE CONFIDENCE so that a different future can be imagined. 

We value SOCIETAL IMPACT so that together we can start shaping the everyday life of citizens.

 

We are dedicated to the United Nation’s 16 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

 

We engage in ADVOCACY through research and informing regional and national policy.

Service Offerings

SERVICE OFFERINGS

TEACHING

  • English Language

  • Teaching Creatively

  • Teaching Basics

  • Creative Process

  • Other Disciplines

CONSULTING

  • Creative Leadership Development

  • Creative Problem-Solving Facilitation

  • Education Reform

  • Organizational Development

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT PROJECTS

  • Project Cobra Art Program

  • Inclusive Maker Space

  • Fashion for a Cause

  • Counseling Clinic

  • Other Projects

Service Offering Model

Research

Training

Interventions

Economic

Development

Research

Policy Suggestions

Community Partners in Myanmar

Buffalo State              State University of New York            Worldwide

  • Designing and initiating projects that integrate Creative Problem-Solving from start to finish

  • Sponsoring people who travel to Myanmar to lead projects in their areas of expertise

  • Leveraging the Creative Problem-Solving process to address sustainability developmental goals prioritized by the people of Myanmar

  • Developing Creative Problem-Solving competency of the Burmese people

  • Mentoring the new generation of American and Mexican leaders so that they have an impact on societal challenges in their own country from a different perspective shaped by their experiences in Myanmar.

In the United States, IMU Makes Things Happen by:

  • Uniting refugees with friends and families in Myanmar.

  • Sponsoring well-known and beloved Burmese figures to North America to speak to Burmese refugee populations.

  • Offering workshops on Creative Problem-Solving, well-being and other topic areas for professional and personal development.

  • Partnering employees and their children with alumni, experts and students that are working on Myanmar--related service projects.

We design and present activities that help refugees contribute to the vitality of their communities and country of heritage.

In México, IMU Makes Things Happen by:

  • Designing and initiating projects that integrate Creative Problem-Solving from start to finish

  • Sponsoring people who travel to Myanmar to lead projects in their areas of expertise

  • Designing fashion for cause

  • Mentoring the new generation of Mexican leaders so that they have an impact on societal challenges in their own country from a different perspective shaped by their experiences in Myanmar.

Accomplishment Reports

2020 

2020 Goals

  1. To initiate a Design Thinking Maker Space program and train others to continue it with our community partners in Yangon such as the Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS), the National League for Democracy Education Network and Yangon University.

  2. To establish a Mental Health Clinic and train others to continue it. 

  3. To continue growing a 5-day art program designed for participants to be open to expression and to train others to continue it in partnership with FFSS.

  4. To train 100 young people in the Creative Problem-Solving model and Creative Leadership at Sky Age Camp in partnership with Sky Age Camp founder Saw.

  5. To train 5% of the members of Parliament in CPS and Leadership.

  6. Deliver a professional development workshop in Creative Problem-Solving for a company that employs Burmese refugees. 

  7. Partner three Burmese refugees with students, former students, or experts working on civic engagement projects in Myanmar. 

  8. Formalize a non-profit IMU satellite in Mexico City and Yangon. 

IMU's Principal Community Partner  

F.F.S.S

What started as a non-profit organization that provided free funeral services, the FFSS has grown to offer free healthcare, free ambulatory service, organic food farming, and free education. The FFSS is based in Yangon, Myanmar. It was founded by Burmese film director Kyaw Thu, who was awarded Asia's version of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work supporting the poor. Founded in 2001, the FFSS is headed by many prominent people in the entertainment industry. 

The IMU Inclusive Innovation Process

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

 
 
 
 

Purpose

The Institute for Myanmar United promotes social justice by helping people to become more confident in their creative capacities to address the educational, social and economic challenges they will face today and in the future. It does so by shaping creative problem-solvingcreative leadership and creative teaching skills into competencies.

IMU Values

We value GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP as a means to promote empathy,

a felt responsibility to act and social justice.


We commit to CIVIC ENGAGEMENT and SERVICE LEARNING as sources of transformation.

 

We strive for increased CREATIVE CONFIDENCE so that a different future can be imagined. 

We value SOCIETAL IMPACT so that together we can start shaping the everyday life of citizens.

 

We are dedicated to the United Nation’s 16 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

 

We engage in ADVOCACY through research and informing regional and national policy.

We believe in a UNITY that separates a person from their deed through compassion.

Service Offerings

SERVICE OFFERINGS

TEACHING

  • English Language

  • Teaching Creatively

  • Teaching Basics

  • Creative Process

  • Other Disciplines

CONSULTING

  • Creative Leadership Development

  • Creative Problem-Solving Facilitation

  • Education Reform

  • Organizational Development

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT PROJECTS

  • Project Cobra Art Program

  • Inclusive Maker Space

  • Fashion for a Cause

  • Counseling Clinic

  • Other Projects

Service Offering Model

Research

Training

Interventions

Economic

Development

Research

Policy Suggestions

Community Partners in Myanmar

Buffalo State              State University of New York            Worldwide

In Myanmar, IMU Makes Things Happen by:

  • Designing and initiating projects that integrate Creative Problem-Solving from start to finish

  • Sponsoring people who travel to Myanmar to lead projects in their areas of expertise

  • Leveraging the Creative Problem-Solving process to address sustainability developmental goals prioritized by the people of Myanmar

  • Developing Creative Problem-Solving competency of the Burmese people

  • Mentoring the new generation of American and Mexican leaders so that they have an impact on societal challenges in their own country from a different perspective shaped by their experiences in Myanmar.

In the United States, IMU Makes Things Happen by:

  • Uniting refugees with friends and families in Myanmar.

  • Sponsoring well-known and beloved Burmese figures to North America to speak to Burmese refugee populations.

  • Offering workshops on Creative Problem-Solving, well-being and other topic areas for professional and personal development.

  • Partnering employees and their children with alumni, experts and students that are working on Myanmar--related service projects.

We design and present activities that help refugees contribute to the vitality of their communities and country of heritage.

In México, IMU Makes Things Happen by:

  • Designing and initiating projects that integrate Creative Problem-Solving from start to finish

  • Sponsoring people who travel to Myanmar to lead projects in their areas of expertise

  • Designing fashion for a cause

  • Mentoring the new generation of Mexican leaders so that they have an impact on societal challenges in their own country from a different perspective shaped by their experiences in Myanmar.

2021 Goals

  1. To initiate a Design Thinking Maker Space program and train others to continue it with our community partners in Yangon such as the Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS), the National League for Democracy Education Network and Yangon University.

  2. To continue growing a 5-day virtual art program designed for participants to be open to expression and to train others to continue it in partnership with FFSS.

  3. To virtually train 100 young people in the Creative Problem-Solving model and Creative Leadership at Sky Age Camp in partnership with Sky Age Camp founder Saw.

  4. To virtually train 5% of the members of Parliament in CPS and Leadership. 

  5. Partner three Burmese refugees with students, former students, or experts working on civic engagement projects in Myanmar. 

  6. Formalize a non profit IMU satellite in Mexico City.

IMU's Principal Community Partner  

F.F.S.S

What started as a non-profit organization that provided free funeral services, the FFSS has grown to offer free healthcare, free ambulatory service, organic food farming, and free education. The FFSS is based in Yangon, Myanmar. It was founded by Burmese film director Kyaw Thu, who was awarded Asia's version of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work supporting the poor. Founded in 2001, the FFSS is headed by many prominent people in the entertainment industry. 

The IMU Inclusive Innovation Process

THE PROCESS

1. Community Partner Provides a

    Challenge Brief

2. Data is Gathered and a Baseline

    Measurement of the Challenge is taken

3. CPS and Design Thinking are Applied to

    Generate Solutions

4. Community Partner Provides

    Iterative Feedback

5. Solutions are Improved

6. A Solution Pitch is made to

    Community Partner

7. Community Partner Implements

8. Solution Effectiveness is Measured

THE CHALLENGES

Education Reform Challenge: 

       How to support creative instruction in

       the classroom?

 

The Health Challenge:

       How to provide better health care?

 

Economic Stabilization:

       How to increase entrepreneurial activity?

 

Basic Infrastructure:

       How to improve transportation,

       communication, sewage, water and

       electric systems?

 

The Leadership Development Challenge:

       How to develop leaders to lead

       inclusively?

 

The Social Justice Challenge:

       How to improve dignity?

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

 

Join Us !

- Be part of our projects! -

 

"Our fourth trip and counting."

  Service Learning Course, August  2021, July 28 - August 12

Apply:

Scroll down to a list of scholarships

 

Apply to join us in Myanmar

Application due Thursday, 01/14/2021

 

Notes:
  • Orientation and preparation begin in the Spring 2021 semester as a formal course  (class will meet 7 times; dates TBD) and continues into the summer if we are permitted to travel. Regardless, this service learning course will have virtual components such as assignments, tours and exchanges. 
  • Alumni and community members are welcome to come as friends of the program director and participate as mentors or as project leads. Friends need to fully cover their own costs including travel to Myanmar. 
 

Institute for Myanmar United Team Members

Senior Leadership

 

Myo Thant

Executive Director

Dr. John F. Cabra

President

IMU Mexico Director

Dr. Roger L. Firestien 

Vice President

Maureen Bartlett

Secretary

Matthew Burch

Treasurer

Jeremy Brewster

Engagement Phenom

Key Staff in Mexico

Gaby Cortés Higareda

Public Relations Director

Yubi Fernandez

Legal

Key Staff in Myanmar

Naing Win

Chair

Thi Ri Tun

Communication Officer

 

Phyo Paing Oo

Program Manager

Phyu Phyu Hlaing

Auditor

Members

 

Sayuri Konomi

IMU Mexico Web

and PR Designer 

Malinalli Segura

IMU Mexico Web

and PR Designer

Will Fogherty

Field Researcher

Council

Min Ko Naing

Social Justice

Dr. Laila Denoya

Grant Infrastructure

 

Dr. Sue McCartney

Non Profit Organizational Growth

Rachel Voelkle

Fundraising Strategy

 

Contact Us

 

2019 News 

Buffalo State College awards the 2019 Outstanding Graduate Course in Community Engagement to 

INE 590 -- Service-Learning in Myanmar

Buffalo State College awards the 2019 Outstanding Graduate Student in Community Engagement  to

Janet Stormes for her work in Myanmar

IMU Mexico to inaugurate in May, 2020. Gaby, Yuby and Ana form the key core members.

2020 News 

January 7 arrival in Yangon.  As always, we were met with a very generous and warm welcome by our National League for Democracy Education Network friends and sponsors and IMU Myanmar colleagues. 

In May, Rakia Akter was awarded The SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence and The Frederick Howe Outstanding Student Volunteers award, which is presented to a student who provided exceptional service to the community as a volunteer.

In May, Jeremy Brewster was awarded The Outstanding Service-Learning Graduate Student.  This award is presented to the student that provided exceptional community service and connected learning to community work through a service-learning course.

A photo gallery of our Cohorts doing beautiful things in Myanmar 

Film by Firdaus Hashim

Our Incredible Partners and Sponsors