partner of the week: Finnish Refugee Council, Myanmar

Based in Helsinki, Finland, and active in Asia and Africa, the Finnish Refugee Council (FRC) had been dedicated to helping displaced people since 1965. In Myanmar, where the echoes of conflict and displacement resonate deeply, FRC’s mission stands resolute: to safeguard the rights and protection of displaced individuals while empowering them to survive and foster peace.

FRC was dedicated to making life better for refugees and people affected by conflict. It provided training in various skills, such as vocational skills, literacy, and numeracy. It also offered livelihood support and life skills training to help people rebuild their lives.




Our Partnership

Since 2020, the Finnish Refugee Council (FRC) has partnered with Aflatoun, utilising AflaYouth curriculum to strengthen the quality of education skills.

FRC believes that Social and Financial Education (SFE) is crucial in Myanmar due to the various challenges its people face. By the end of 2023, nearly half of the population, 49.7%, were living below the poverty line, with rural areas and ethnic minorities suffering the most. Economic growth in Myanmar is expected to be slow, between 1% and 2.6% in 2024, according to World Bank and IMF estimates. Rising conflict, trade disruptions, currency instability, and high inflation negatively impact businesses and households, while declining real wages add to the economic hardship. These challenges are worsened by systemic social exclusion, which hinders Myanmar’s development, particularly for marginalised groups such as women, religious and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and the urban and rural poor.

By equipping the most vulnerable youth, including women and girls, with essential social and financial skills and fostering social cohesion through peacebuilding efforts, SFE remains relevant and critical, especially as recent developments have disrupted both the economy and the aspirations of the youth.

The Finnish Refugee Council (FRC) has been delivering life skills training integrated with vocational education short courses, aimed at vulnerable adolescents, women, and youth from Myanmar’s northern and south-eastern borders who have been forcibly displaced due to conflicts.

As of 2023, 1,700 individuals have benefited from this programme, with at least 50% of them increasing their incomes and livelihood capacities. By integrating Social and Financial Education (SFE) with technical and vocational training courses, especially for women, FRC empowers them to start small businesses at home, diversifying their income sources.


Building Brighter Futures: The Impact of FRC’s Social and Financial Education in Myanmar
By integrating a customised version of the AflaYouth curriculum, FRC has enhanced the effectiveness of its youth empowerment programmes. This curriculum helps participants gain not only technical skills but also a deeper understanding of personal development, rights and responsibilities, financial literacy, and social and financial enterprise. Participants learn to make informed and effective decisions about their financial resources, leading to improved well-being overall.

In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, FRC quickly adapted its training programmes to an online format. Through innovative methods such as Zoom-based sessions and hybrid learning modules that combined online theory with in-person practical training, FRC continued to provide valuable education to over 680 young individuals, including 303 women.

FRC’s commitment to youth empowerment through its Social and Financial Education and Aflatoun programmes highlights the transformative power of education. By fostering economic opportunities, resilience, and hope, FRC is helping to build a brighter future for Myanmar’s communities.