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Myanmar is changing fast — and this means getting used to new and different ways of thinking. It also means new opportunities.

For UNICEF, Myanmar’s transition presents an opportunity — and challenge — to meaningfully engage young people as active citizens. One important step forward has been to establish the Myanmar Social Innovation Lab.

Thanks to grants, fundraising and awareness campaigns from Star Wars: Force for Change, the Myanmar Social Innovation Lab has been live for six months. It is rapidly expanding and exploring new ways to engage Myanmar’s communities to focus on research, outreach and training, and solution design — all with the goal to harness innovation for the good of the children and families of Myanmar.

One example of this success is a 5-month­-long project with the Department of Social Welfare, bringing together Social Innovation Lab partner pointB, Myanmar Government counterparts and UNICEF technical specialists to empower case-workers with the tools, insights and creative confidence needed to deliver services desperately needed by Myanmar’s children.

The Social Innovation Lab also has a strong focus on youth engagement, convening groups of young people from across the country to tackle social challenges in creative ways. For example, the Lab facilitated a workshop on climate change with youth who applied their best thinking to develop campaigns to ensure that young people are an integral part of the country’s climate change adaptation strategy.

The Myanmar Social Innovation Lab has made rapid progress—an inspiring reflection of the thirst that exists in Myanmar for new ways to address traditional and changing norms, and the dedication to facing social challenges head-on. Thanks to the support of Star Wars: Force for Change, the Social Innovation Lab is helping to create positive changes in Myanmar.