Storytelling, Dragons and Bridges at Paung Ku

A couple of weeks back, we spent a fabulous two days running staff training with the talented, committed people at Paung Ku in Yangon. Paung Ku — whose name literally means ‘arch’, ‘to bridge’ or ‘to span’ — are an NGO who bring together people, networks, ideas and resources to transform Myanmar civil society from the ground up.   

Because Paung Ku’s work is all about communication, they brought us in to explore how to make their storytelling more effective, and how to develop stronger, more compelling narratives about their work. In our first session, we looked at storytelling and editorial skills, then in the second we explored the organisation’s needs when it came to communicating with specific audiences. 

Along the way, we covered a lot of ground, including the relationship between oral and written storytelling, the connection between contending with troublesome dragons and working for an NGO, and how to bring together text and image, ideas and data into a compelling tale that is accessible to all.   

It was a delight to work with such a committed and engaged team. Find out more about Paung Ku’s work on their website.

Working With Mote Oo

We’re delighted to be working over the coming months with the lovely people at Mote Oo, which runs projects on education and social justice. We’ll be consulting for them on their new coursebook on ethical leadership, as well as writing, and possibly piloting, the textbook.

We’re very excited by this, as it is a chance to think about ethics not as something bolted-on to the way that organisations work, but instead as something that runs through everything that they do. Later next week, we’re having some initial discussions up in Hpa-An, in Karen state, and then into the new year we’ll be getting to work on developing some content.

You can find out more about what Mote Oo does by visiting their website.

Short Stories in Yangon

We’re now in Myanmar (Burma), where we’ll be for the coming months. We’ve got a number of projects in the works, but first up is a six week writing workshop at the Parami Institute of the Liberal Arts and Sciences in Yangon. Starting later in November, we’ll be teaching a course on the fundamentals of short story writing. We’ll be drawing on published stories from both Myanmar writers and writers elsewhere in the world, and will be looking at short stories in a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic context. It promises to be a lot of fun.