Words and Conflict Resolution Ideas

We are in a world of daily communication. From digital devices to face-to-face interaction, it is inevitable.

As we interact with people everyday, we notice that many people have different moods, feelings, behaviours and cultural attitudes, and some people are very sensitive about these differences. For the various types of people we interact with, we need to know the importance of different communication methods in order to avoid any type of mistreatment and misunderstanding. I believe most people know this, but it’s also good to remind ourselves again, so I have written down my ideas and experience to share with everybody.

Sometimes, we experience people who have different moods – bad, good or combative – depending on their daily struggles. It’s wise to not to fall into any of those negative moods that could lead to conflict in communication. How do we avoid this?

Firstly, pay attention to facial expressions, body language and the speech tone of the person you are going to communicate with. With this awareness, you will not interrupt someone who seems to be angry or sad. We can also use comforting words: “ Are you OK,” “ Do no worry,” “ You ll be fine,” etc., It’s better not to use a lot of words that can add confusion to their anger. Words such as, “ never,” “ always,” “ why,” and “ should,” can have unintended negative impacts. Analyzing how these words can have negative impacts can help you help them.

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Here are some thoughts on how and when using “ never ” can effect a person’s emotional state. For instance, a mom sees her kid is opening a bottle of milk in the wrong way, and it spills on the floor. Then the mom responds to her kid by saying, “ Never do that again, ” “ Why are you doing this,” or “ You should not do this.”
At this point, the kid probably feels guilty, discouraged and blamed by mom. The mistake he made now results in him feeling upset and emotional pain.
The negative words have only made the situation worse. Unfortunately, similar interactions happen all too often.

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A good way for the mom to respond is to say, “ Son, you are opening the bottle the wrong way, and I will show you how to do it so that you will not break the bottle and can avoid spilling the milk on the floor when you use it next time.”
She could then ask, “ Do you think you can help mommy clean the floor? ” How sweet is this? The kid will feel encouraged the minute he hears his mom’s positive words and will be definitely motivated to correct himself.

It is very important for everyone not to fall into the mindset of negative feelings when accidental mistakes are made.

Thus, the words “ never, ” “ why, ” “ should, ” and “ always, ” are better used for factual matters in school, lectures, science or in any fact-based material.
For example, a factual statement on insulating your house could be, “ You should always put lots of insulation inside your walls. Never underestimate the important of good insulation.”

As another example, if your co worker has just made a mistake at work, and you want to solve this issue, but avoid any conflict, you could say, “ Do you think we can try this in different way? ” or “ Do you want me to show you how I usually do this? ”

It is a good idea to encourage people with positive language.
As a reminder, try not to use the following words in a situation that is already negative. It is better not to add fuel to the fire:

“ You shouldn’t do that ”
“ Why do you do that ”
“ You always do that ”
“ Never do that again ”

Last but not least, do not feel afraid or shy to say “ I am sorry ” for your own mistakes. And readily admit that you have made mistakes because you didn’t understand or know how to do it in the correct way. By being honest, you are already half way to solving your problem. Most successful people in the workplace know that 80 % of your financial success comes from your relationships with your co worker or the boss, and your skill is only 20%.

Therefore, communication and relationship building greatly matters for your future success. In any kind of business, the best marketing is the positive relationships and caring that you build with customers. The better the relationship you have, the better the future you will experience in your field.
This approach also greatly benefits your relationships with family and friends.

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We all are here to learn, grow and adapt so that we can create peace and healthy environment with our positive actions.

Written By

JP Marip                                                                                                                                               

 

An Exciting Moment, but an Uncertain Future in the Education

Most of us, in elementary and high school,  experienced the excitement of having new school materials at the beginning of the year. Every year on June 1st, we received new uniforms, watches, bikes, water bottles, new lunch boxes, notebooks and pencils; we were so happy with this new stuff- eagerly anticipating for the first day of class. That was the best moment, as parents and elder siblings clearly cared for us. Why? Because we mattered!   

 Very pleased to see that my nieces and nephews are preparing for their first day of school in my hometown, I was reminded of my high school life. Even though it took only 8 minutes to walk to school, I used to badger my Mom to buy me a new bicycle. From my elementary to high school years, it was completely worry-free student life.

That was my life, as well as the lives of many others: we did not have to go through a devastating civil war. Many of us are now noticing, since the start of the war in 2011 in Kachin that there is a very limited education of the IDPs’ children.

After more than hundreds of villages were completely destroyed due to the armed conflicts, it is impossible that children in IDP camps could ever return to attend schools in their miserably empty villages. Their education is infrequent and random as they learn and study outside on the ground, or in temporary assembly halls with no chairs and tables, and of course with an inadequate supply of school materials including exercise books, pencils, as well as with limited volunteer teachers.

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Children drawing pictures on the ground in IDP camp;  Photo Credit: Mali Ingra Volunteer Group

Because of their strong desire to learn, the IDP camps’ committee and some donors came together and arranged to build temporary schools, yet most are incomplete (not in all IDP camps). Building schools in more than 150 camps are such a difficult task for donors and local NGOs that it is not possible to provide all the necessary due to insufficient funding. In each camp, children made up 65% of the population.

The war in most of Kachin continues to the present day. Even though worsen strife is occurring, the desire of the children to learn is growing stronger, according to local volunteer teachers. With hollow support for the majority of IDP camps in desperate need, the responsible government ministry seems to slash the education of the IDP children.

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The two kindergarten students from ‘Aye Thu Hka’ IDP camp in Tanai township received school materials from donors;  Photo Credit: Mali Ingra Volunteer Group

Despite the fact that the children do not get many supports, more than three-quarters of all IDP camps do not get full educational programs, they all take delight in their limited schooling opportunities, even in the midst of this unprecedented storms of war. In fact, in their early stage of consciousness, they are unable to realize the reasons for the war and its resulted consequences on their lives. They are, even now, being able to enjoy the school lives within the limits. Accepting and practicing the reality of destined school lifestyle is like a plague.    

Anyone can feel empathy for their struggles in education. It is such a pain to hear how they are eager to study and learn during their stay in temporary camps. They become, unfortunately, victims without knowing of the cruel war and political games behind their situation.

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A happy kid receiving school books.  Photo Credit: Mali Ingra Volunteer Group

In Tanai township in Kachin state, several hundreds of children from ‘Kensara IDP camp’ are taken by tractors to schools while other hundreds of children walk. But most camps offer temporary schools in their own camp campus.

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Students from ‘Kinsara’ IDP camp in Tanai township, kachin state going to school by a tractor;  Photo Credit: Mali Ingra Volunteer Group

I imagine that most children might be wishing to receive new uniforms, watches, water bottles and lunch boxes for their very first school semester. Unfortunately, their desire will only be fulfilled if there are specific donors.

Thanks to everyone- individuals, local NGOs, churches, and other organizations- who have contributed in many ways to make the children’s education happen in most IDP camps, even though these programs are not fully served. It is still a great blessing for those children. 

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Mali Ingra volunteer group is distributing school supplies at ‘Aye Thu Hka’ IDP camp in Tanai township, Kachin state. Photo Credit: Mali Ingra Volunteer Group

As the saying goes, “ the change starts from us” which indicates that we are all responsible to take action to stop the civil war and aid the children’s education and their future in any way we can.

Because they matter!!

Children’s education is vitally important. Yes, it is their right to access basic, quality education anywhere they live, temporarily or long term, in the UN’s refugee camps, IDP camps or in cities or towns in the world. Neglecting their education can only degenerate the country’s future. It is a crucial time to show human decency. 

During the very first week of school starting on June 05, 2018, Seng Nu Aung, a 10-year-old girl, said, “I am now unable to keep up my biggest goal in education that I have always wanted because of the fact that my parents live in an IDP camp and support me.” She noted, “ Even though I have this goal, I won’t be able to dream big anymore,” according to a Mali Ingra volunteer member who currently is contributing school supplies to elementary students in ‘Kensara, KBC, Aye Thu Hka and Aung Tha Pyae’ IDP camps in Tanai township, Kachin state. Her plea literally underlines the desperate need for children’s quality long-term education in IDP camps in Kachin state.

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‘Seng Nu Aung’ from ‘Kinsara’ IDP camp in Tanai township, kachin state.  Photo Credit: Mali Ingra Volunteer Group

Excited by receiving limited school materials from some donors, the children are comforted and motivated with a modicum of hope in education. 

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An exciting moment of a child with school materials before going to school.  Photo Credit: Mali Ingra Volunteer Group

Sometimes, the moms were stunned by their children questions. For instance, they asked, “Mom, it’s too crowded in the  tractor  to just attend the school every day, and why can’t we go to school separately like we used to in our village?” And then, they continued in their innocent search for their rights, “Mom, why do we have to stay with many people in the same shelters together for so long without proper walls, and why can’t we go home. I miss my little puppy at our home that we have left.” 

The moms remained silent. Despite the emotional pain in the hearts of every mom, there is nothing they can do for their children’s future education.  

Based on the recent devastating situation, education can only be improved if there is no more war. Investing in children’s education is the way to improve a country’s sustainable development. In fact, children are the treasures of a country. Thus, a country must act to respect children’s rights to education. 

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Children studying in the night at IDP camp shows their strong desire for education. Photo Credit: Mali Ingra Volunteer Group

Sadly, the government is failing to protect the future by lack of responsibility, human decency, inertia to implement a new policy, failure to stop the intensive civil war and lack of notable efforts in children’s education. 

In a data report released by UNESCO, only 65 % of refugee children attend primary school, and  9 to 23 % of refugees are able to attend secondary school in low-income countries; yet, IDP children from elementary to secondary schools for adolescents from Kachin and Shan states in Myanmar are not included in their report. There seems to be no chance for the national and international support networks to produce quality teachers for Kachin and Shan IDP camps, and it is one of the biggest challenges for local volunteer teachers to be able to teach appropriately in such a crisis. 

In the recent situation, the heavy rains have come, most schools in camps are half-flooded, and children can only attend for a half-day. A worse situation has just started for children. Where do children in crisis shout out for their right to education? 

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Half-flooded camp in  Jaw Masat IDP campus, Nawng Nan village, Myitkyina. Photo Credit: Sut Seng Htoi, a leader of kachin Youth Movement

Gandhi said, “ Ensuring that refugees have equitable access to quality education is a shared responsibility. It is time for all of us to put words into action.” 

We must come together- in the East and the West- to save the children and the world. And let’s show our solidarity with Kachin IDP children and support a brighter future for children from anywhere in the world. 

 

Reported by,

JP Marip

An Amazing Water Filter System

I recently have discovered a very usable survival water filter system in which I have become extremely interested. People from Africa love this filter, both for its powerful actions that can change rains, lake and dirty river water into clean and drinkable water immediately and, most importantly, for the way it catches 99.99 % of bacteria.

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I do hope that IDPs from my homeland could benefit from it as well in the future.

It is a survival water filter that can be used as a portable water filter or house water filter in a big family. It consists of a ceramic element which connects with a one meter long silicone hose, and connector vacuum ball. I found out that it is very easy to use it in an emergency situations.

First, simply put the ceramic filter into any source water container; this water source should be placed higher than the clean water container/bottle, and then run the hose down to the clean water container by pressing on and off for a bout several seconds on the vacuum ball to flow the water down through the hose. It can get 5 to 6 liters of clean water per hour that is ready to drink.

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More importantly, what I love about this filter is that it effectively can turn the dirty yellow water color into clean and clear water. This is just FANTASTIC!!

During my research and learning about amazing filter, I have come to admire its benefits: it stops and catches 99.999% of bacteria, as a high flow rate, uses no electricity, and is low cost and eco-friendly, all in one package. With the supports of the organization I know of and my own guidance, I will continue to learn more about the environmental facts, clean water and hygiene, and shelter security in the freezing winter and heavy rain season.

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Today’s piece of my writing grew out of my own learning about IDPs lives and accepting the reality and how to improve their lives.

Thank you IDPs for teaching me about life and challenge in different situations.

Reported by
JP Marip
Canada 🇨🇦

 

Myanmar Youth Protest Camp for Trapped Civilians

Myanmar’s Kachin Youths were protesting and had opened a protest camp to try to free the trapped IDPs in the jungles in Kachin state due to the civil war. The forgotten civil war in Kachin and Shan state, Myanmar, has continued since 2011 to the present day, mainly in the Kachin region. Lately, international attention has been focused on the Rohingya crises, and this forgotten war also requires urgent attention. As the civil strife occurs between the government military and the Kachin independent army, the IDPs continue to grow in numbers, with nearly 150,000 IDPs now in 7 years of conflict according to local NGO resources.

Neglecting to provide humanitarian aid for the 150,000 IDPs, the government continues to not take full responsibility for those IDPs while local churches, NGOs and volunteer groups are providing their basic needs. It’s clear that these aids are not enough as many of the elderly have died for many reasons: trauma, depression, and insufficient food and medicine in the camps.

Through out the years, since the war has begun, the government has been breaching international humanitarian law by blocking international aid access to those IDP camps in Northern Myanmar. With thousands more troops deploying into war zones, the government military uses civilians as human shields, bombing civilians’ houses by air strikes in many regions in kachin state, and besides that many cases of raping, killing, and slaughtering has happened which is against international law.

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Military has occupied most parts of the region for business purpose of selling natural resources mining to Chinese investors in Kachin state. There have been more than 100 villages and nearly 100 Christian churches already destroyed in Kachin state since civil war broke out in 2011.

In recent cases in Tanai township, more than 2000 civilians from Aung Lawt village are trapped in the jungles by military troops while fleeing to safe zones as well, thousands of civilians from N-Jang-Yang and Lau Nau Hku villages are trapped making up more than 3000 civilians in numbers. Not only Kachin civilians, but many other ethic people who came to work as mining workers in Tanai, where amber resources are, are also waiting to escape.

On April 30, 2018, more than 5000 Kachin youths and different religious leaders gathered on Manau campus (the main remarkable place where Kachin cultural activity events happen) and protested. Since then, the Kachin youths have continued to open protest camps. The main reason for having protest camp is demanding to free all the trapped IDPs in the jungles. Their non violent protests occur in front of the Kachin state ministry’s office in Myitkyina city.

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The trapped IDPs include babies, children, pregnant women, the elderly and many people with disabilities. They have now been living in fear of food shortage, unsafe surroundings and life threatening situations for almost a month in the jungles. Giving many excuses and prolonging proper decisions to rescue these trapped IDPs, the Kachin state chief ministry’s office has given an unclear message to the youths leaders while the two youth leaders, Mr Lum Zawng and Miss Sut Seng Pan, met with ministry officials in their office on May-3-2018.

After meeting with ministry officials for a few hours, they have decided to continue to protest until minister’s office takes action to rescue all the trapped IDPs. Lum Zawng ,who is also a young lawyer, said, “ We will not stop our protest camp until the minister’s office takes action and rescues all those civilians trapped in the jungles”. This was on the 4th day of their sit-in protest and camp. Hundred of youths had already slept on the side walks of the street in front of the minister’s office in Myitkyina city.

However, the Kachin state ministry’s office had allowed the rescue of the trapped civilians on May-05-2018. Joining more youths from different cities and towns, the protest camp continues to organize peace activities in Manau park, which includes prayers and singing humanitarian songs as well as peace art creations while many religious leaders and their parents came to pray and bless them.

On May 5, 2018, a rescue team led by a group of the Kachin ministry’s office, community leaders, Red Cross members, Kachin Youths Movement Committee members, religious leaders and the Peace Creation Group started on their way to rescue trapped IDPs in Lai Nau Hku in Hpakant Township, where nearly 140 IDPs were waiting for this rescue team. Unfortunately, the rescue team was blocked by the order of the commander of the army, saying that they can only send in food but cannot lead them anywhere. Since then, the rescue team has had to return back to Manau Park in Myitkyina city.

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Meanwhile, more youths are joining this Kachin Youth Movement, with 300 from the first day to 2000 members during the last 6 days. Many Kachin people in the city are worried that there will be a crackdown if Kachin Youth Movement continues, and many youth groups across the cities such as Yangon, Pago, Mandalay, Tawng Gyi are also protesting to release civilians being used as human shields and hostages in Kachin state. More ethnics organizations stand with IDPs and solidarity with Kachin Youth Movement day by day.

On May 6, 2018, the chief minister of the ministry of social welfare, relief and resettlement arrived to Myitkyina city and rescued more than 190 IDPs from Lai Nai Hku village. The Kachin Youth Movement leader said they will continue to open the protest camp and will monitor the government rescue team to ensure they accomplish their mission to save the lives of all 3000 trapped IDPs, as the previous rescue team was blocked by the military.Blog

While each youth group in different towns and cities is having peace protests, some youths who led the protest in Yangon city were sued and arrested by the police department. On late May, 2018, the three Kachin organizers of the protest were sued under lawsuit by the general Myo Min Oo for accusing army at their public meeting on early week of May, and the court dates are still in the process.

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Setting commitment and planning strategies in order to rescue thousands of trapped IDPs that would fulfill the desire of the public, the Kachin youths have taken a great initiative to lift and inspire thousands of youths across Myanmar. The Kachin Youth Movement leader, Lum Zawng, who is a 29 year-old young lawyer, whose brave actions in dealing with police are the best example of youth action in such risky protest movements.

Sut Seng Htoi is a 24 year-old young singer and program director of a youth union in Myitkyina said, “ We will fight for our right even though we might have to face bloody crackdown, and are being slandered with fake news and accusations. She added, “ We have no time to explain and reply to those who are defaming us on the internet; we are busy focusing on how to rescue those trapped IDPs.”

In a poignant demonstration of their innocent search for their human rights, hundreds of IDP children who have recently arrived at Nau Nan Church IDP campus questioned if they can return to their homes when the schools start again in June, according to L Bawk Nu, who is a kachin model girl and Miss Supranational Myanmar 2015, during her visits to those camps.

Being volunteers for those war victims due to an unfair civil war which is not easy to stop, the youths understand that patience and persistence are needed to withstand such a great challenge with both the government and the military.

Their chanting goes, “ We will never give up, we will never go down.”

Reported by
JP Marip
Canada 🇨🇦