As always being enthusiastic to raise the role of young professionals in water sector, The Water Agency has held a session named "The Voice of the Next Generation of Mekong Water Leaders" in 2017 Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy held at Inya Lake Hotel, Yangon, Myanmar on 25-27 October. The session has been a lively and engaging event, participated by young professionals not only from Mekong region like Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam but also from USA, Netherlands and Australia!
To get some inspiration, a presentation about Holland Water Challenge, a young water talent program initiated by the Dutch Water Sector since 2010, which has engaged hundreds of students and young water professionals across Asia Pacific is given at first. After that, participants working in groups shared their knowledge of next generation initiatives that promote capacity building for young people. Then young participants spoke out their "needs and wants" and it was learned that projects focused on youths' creativity, private investments for academic research, and easy access to data and information are on their wish-list (Find the summary below the pictures).
The session was closed with a networking activity when participants shared their contacts for more collaboration in the future with the purpose of creating an online platform for young water leaders.
Summary of Group Discussion
1. Share young generation initiatives and capacity building programs in your country.
Capacity Building programs
Myanmar – Young Water Professional (YWP) Program (NWRC), WLE MK30 Fellowship (ARBRO), iNature Club at American Centre, Young SouthEast Asians Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), Education For Nature Fellowships (WWF scholarship)
Cambodia – Water Corner
(Fun fact : Female students need to pay only 50% of tuition fees in Engineering university in Cambodia)
2. Wish-list of young professionals.
- -On job training for water resources
- -Projects focused on young professionals
- -Private investments for academic research (because of limitation of finance)
- -Easy access to data and information for research students