Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO) was formed in 1998 to work for peace, justice, equality and gender equality, to build a democratic country, and to improve the lives of students, young people and all Ta’ang (Palaung) people.
It is estimated that TSYO has trained over 7,000 Ta’ang young people in areas including human rights awareness, democracy, women rights, democratic leadership, data collection, land confiscation, and health and education. This training has been done through workshops, peer education, youth empowerment, networking and community awareness raising projects.
TSYO has undertaken extensive research in the areas of education, impacts of large-scale development projects, human rights violations, and the impact of conflict northern Shan state. These reports have been published and disseminated to the local, regional and international community. TSYO has increased its networks with a range of different community based organisations and civil society groups, and continues work on building the skills and capacity of its staff.
When TSYO was first founded, it had six staff with limited skills and resources, but through years of training, education and endurance TSYO has successfully grown into a grassroots organisation with some 35 full-time staff members and an alumni group of over 100 Ta’ang young people. TSYO has helped increase youth awareness of the political situation in Burma, and their understanding of the basic principles of human rights and democracy. TSYO has also helped improve Ta’ang communities’ access to education and health services.
For example, through the Health Assistance Program (run in collaboration with Palaung Women Organization) TSYO has supported the creation of a mobile clinic for Ta’ang communities that provides health care and education to Ta’ang people in rural and remote locations. TSYO’s Education Department has assisted 50 high school students to complete their secondary education through a boarding school in Mantong. TSYO also provides primary education for 95 children in the rural Waine Johm village of Mantong Township.
TSYO has also provided a six-month basic human rights and political training course, some of the graduates of which have been able to assume roles in the human rights movement of the Ta’ang people.
- To work for peace and to develop the Ta'ang region.
- To increase the number of Ta'ang youth who can participate as leaders.
- To promote gender equality.
- To end the military dictatorship.
- To build a federal democratic country with national equality and self-determination.
- To promote the capacity of Ta'ang students and youth by working on capacity building training.
- To cooperate with democratic organisations, national revolution movements, and international youth and women's organisations, to bring about positive change in Burma.
- To preserve and promote traditional Ta’ang culture and literature.
- To reduce the growth, trade, and use of opium and other drugs in the Ta’ang region.
- To provide education on, and increase public awareness of, health care through peer education in the Ta’ang region.
- To advocate towards international community and alliance groups to reduce human rights violations in the Ta'ang region.
- To protect natural resources and the environment in the Ta’ang region.
- To promote education and to increase the skills and abilities of Ta’ang young people
- To increase support for projects and activities from local communities.
- To work, through awareness raising activities, against the dictatorship and move toward building a peaceful federal democratic state