The lively group is led by two young leaders who, with great skill and empathy, promote creative expression and group cohesion and ensure that peace work is also combined with fun. Ogga is a community manager and has the difficult task of picking up the very mixed group of young people who are meeting for the first time today. He told me in the inner courtyard of the Christian Church where the workshop took place how he succeeds and why he works with monks in community building. As it turned out, the courtyard is very busy and sometimes used to play football, theatre, and for song practice.
Shortly after, at the same spot and meeting point for different committed people, I meet Ko Ko Lwin, a group leader of an inter-ethnic workshop with young people from Rakhine, the state of Myanmar, which has been shaken by tensions between Buddhists and Rohingyas since 2012 and has reached a new peak of destruction and expulsion since August. But young people from this state in particular are also committed to peaceful coexistence, despite trauma, threats and imprints caused by a deeply divided environment. Not only Ko Ko Lwin, also Ei Pwint Rhi Zan comes from Rakhine (Rakhaing, Arakan).
As with most good stories, there are several variations of the origin of the name "Third Story Project". One of them tells me the storyteller Thant Zin Soe and what drives him to believe in the power of storytelling in a country like Myanmar.
On our joint bus ride with Ei Pwint Rhi Zan she had already told me various stories from the TSP-collection, which contains more than 34 children's books. Whether she finds the time to tell me her favorite story (and without the potholes and the miserable neon blue light on the bus ride) I ask her in the middle of the bee-heap mood. She smiles as if I had done her a favor and not her to me and will soon find a relatively quiet place.
When I retire after a hard day's work, the sun has long gone out of the mountains, the organisation team is still in planning mode: Let's go over the course of tomorrow again." And I really don't know where they are taking the energy from and I leave the place looking for a working socket to charge my camera all over the city. It turned out that the statement that the electricity in my hotel was "coming soon"had been a bit too optimistic. But out of compassion I don't manage to cancel my booking and so I stay in my room with headlamp light and cold shower.