2017 Retreat of ActionAid Myanmar took place in Ngwe Saung Beach, Ayeyawady Region. As the culture of AAM, all staff across the country gathered and joined the retreat.
Staff full of four buses left for the destination from AAM Head Office in January 26 morning. The first thing done after having lunch at the beach was introducing the different teams of retreat plan. Muani, Head of HROD, facilitated the introduction session and Country Director of AAM, Saya Shihab gave welcoming speech emphasizing on building stronger relationship within the organization. The introduction was followed by “Getting to know each other” session with playing games and dancing with the song “A Song for Solidarity” which brought so much fun to everyone. After “Getting to know each other” section, all staff were divided into six teams representing six values of AAM, namely: Solidarity, Equity and Justice, Courage of Conviction, Transparency and Accountability, Humility, and Independence and Neutrality.
Second day of the retreat started with group photo taking on the sandy shore of Ngwe Saung Beach. The day was full of activities based on discussion about AAM’s values. Each team presented their reflection on respective value with amazing performances as well as creation of value slogans. Afternoon was the time when all staff brainstormed on conferring about AAM’s way forward. Everyone actively participated in the discussions and gave suggestions which were summarized by Saya Shihab’s remarks.
Beach sports and games program on the next day highlighted the most important purpose of retreat – improving the relationship among ActionAiders. Through all the sports and games played, stronger solidarity and participatory skills were created via the game like: building sand castles. The teams managed to involve every member in different games and cheered up not only their own team, but also others. At night, grand dinner and entertainment program passed much laughter and relaxation.
Three-long retreat trip successfully finished on Sunday. Why the word “successfully” is used is that all the staff from different areas both head office and field offices become significantly closer to each other and could shape tighter bond. In addition, AAM’s values and way forward were also figured out with the ideas of all ActionAiders. We truly came back as a very strong ActionAid team!
Written by Hsu Mon Aung, Communications Officer, ActionAid Myanmar