“Veranda” Youth Community Café

14 May 2019

The “Veranda” Youth Community Café which is located in Zwegabin Street Between Ingone Street and Kan Thar Yar lake, Hpa An, is a multipurpose community center oriented solely on the next generation leaders which are the youth for this generation. It may seem as a normal café with classical Myanmar decoration from the outer appearance but if we go deeper than that and know its purpose, you will be surprised, for that we will be hearing out a report from our reporter David Tanner.

Veranda, it is a pilot project of social business generating resources for future community activities. The aim is to promote the value of sustainability through working with local products, ecological materials and other methods introducing the concept of responsible consumption, "My name is Nann Myat Aung, the Veranda youth cafe was established around 2014 October. When I came back to Hpa An from the study abroad scholarship, I found out that there is no community center for youth to just meet up and chill or for to be innovative and collaborate their ideas. To fill this gap, I decided to open a cafe which every youth can just chill out, meet up, make youth-oriented events and just purely be innovative by using free WIFI provided, even if they don't order foods or coffee."

Veranda is a meeting point for young people, activists, local artists, foreign travellers and volunteers, who would like to connect with local groups, "This kind of community center should be done around every parts of Myanmar, because it is to support the next generation leaders, which are the youths for this generation. Moreover, as a cafe we just use fresh organic local ingredients which could also benefits the local farmers and food publishers. For example, coffee beans and fruits. We don't need to be too fancy and expensive for to do this kind of community distribution, we just need a heart for to do it and a good idea."

Veranda Youth Community Café is the first social business project of Tounge La' Yat Education Gathering Group (EGG). Tounge La' Yat Education Gathering Group (EGG) is a nonprofit community-based education program that was formed in 2011 by committed Karen scholarship alumni, aspiring local youths, visionary religious leaders, and socially engaged persons to create educational opportunity for marginalized youth in Kayin State

General knowledge time

Community centers are public locations where members of a community tend to gather for group activities, social support, public information, and other purposes. They may sometimes be open for the whole community or for a specialized group within the greater community. Community centers generally perform many (though rarely all) the following functions in its community which are:

  • As the place for all-community celebrations at various occasions and traditions.
  • As the place for public meetings of the citizens on various issues.
  • As the place where politicians or other official leaders come to meet the citizens and ask for their opinions, support or votes ("election campaigning" in democracies, other kinds of requests in non-democracies).
  • As a place where community members meet each other socially.
  • As a place housing local clubs and volunteer activities.