Aye Kyaw, together with 88 Generation Students Leader Ko Ko Gyi and other former political prisoners, founded Open Myanmar Initiative /OMI/ in 2013. OMI is an NGO with a mission to substantially promote right to information, education and knowledge, which is a key to get every citizen involved in Myanmar´s democratic process and transformation towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous country. After the 2015 elections, OMI´s activities have enlarged further as the capacity building needs of Myanmar are increasing.
Aye Kyaw is an Executive Director of OMI with an overall responsibility for organization´s functioning as well as for Right to Know agenda – one of the most important OMI´s focus areas. OMI´s aim is to focus both on advocacy on Myanmar´s citizens´ Right to Know as well as on close cooperation with lawyers and preparations of modern Right to Know legislation. OMI has a strong Research and Education and Training Departments and covers a very large agenda.
OMI Research Department focuses strongly on Parliamentary monitoring, bill tracking and Budgetary monitoring and uses modern technologies (incl. mobile phone application, Website, Facebook and Viber) for advocacy and dissemination of knowledge in this field. To achieve a maximum impact of its activities, OMI has also a Public Relations department, which organizes press conferences and informs general public.
OMI Education and Training Department organizes local governance and civic education and trainings for civil society activists and previously focused also on voters´ education for grassroots people from Myanmar ethnic states and divisions and Economic transformation of Myanmar. These programs have been supported by Canada Fund and educational NGO Prospect Burma.
Aye Kyaw received a BSc. Degree in Physics from Yangon University in 1992. In June 1988, he actively participated in Yangon University Student Affairs Committee. Then he co-founded an organisation Burma Youth Liberation Front, which fought for democracy in Myanmar, strongly oppressed by junta´s military rule. Together with other student leaders, he opposed the cancellation of results of Myanmar´s general elections in 1990, won by National League for Democracy led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. As a consequence of his large pro-democracy activities, Aye Kyaw was arrested in 1992, he became political prisoner of military regime and spent 6 years in prison.
After his release, he worked as a private teacher and also continued his human rights and democracy promotion activities. He was very active in opposing a new non-democratic Myanmar constitution approved in 2008. Despite personal risks, as a former political prisoner, he volunteered in activities of Former Political Prisoners Organisation /FPPS/ and was elected a Member of FPPS Working Committee. Aye Kyaw is also a member of 88 Generation Students, a group of former student leaders of pro-democracy movement in 1988, who were imprisoned by a Myanmar´s military regime and after their release became civil society activists.
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