A Dutch certified Public Benefit Organisation, the Vanderes Foundation was founded in May 2017 by Izak van der Sluijs to improve the quality of and access to education around the globe through investment funding.
In 2018, Vanderes backed Zomia as its first project, funding a significant portion of Zomia’s annual student outlay. In order to support higher education loans for hundreds of future students, the foundation’s funding will be re-allocated perpetually as repayments are made by graduates. As Zomia’s first institutional lender, Vanderes also tests pilot programs geared towards institutional lenders and larger lending partners.
The BEAM Education Foundation was founded in 2009 to assist Burmese migrant students seeking college prep courses and vocational skills training. A non-profit foundation registered in Thailand, BEAM (which stands for Bridging Educational Access to Migrants) offers a GED preparatory course and other services to prepare students for higher education. It also offers a limited number of university scholarships.
In 2014, BEAM became Zomia’s first partner. With a philosophy and goals that closely align with our own, BEAM works directly with students in our target population. BEAM can vouch for its students’ commitment to higher education and prepares them for success. BEAM assists Zomia by identifying qualified students and assessing their financial need. Students in need are then given the option of taking on a Zomia loan. Approximately 15% of Zomia’s students have come to us from BEAM.
Founded in 2009 to promote the education and well-being of unrecognized refugee women from Burma, the We women foundation provides pre-university services such as TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) preparation, one-on-one coaching, and job assistance. We women also provides scholarships to a select group of women working toward undergraduate and graduate degrees, and the organization continues to support its students during and after their university careers.
In 2014, Zomia agreed to give We women students priority during the loan application process. We also work together to advocate on behalf of our collective students, ensuring that they are treated fairly by the universities and faculties in the region.
Partners Asia supports community initiatives to improve the lives of Myanmar’s most vulnerable, many of whom live in unstable or border areas, where they risk displacement and exploitation. Partners Asia builds relationships by connecting innovative organizers in Myanmar communities with international donors, helping to bridge the gap between local leaders and global resources.
Partners Asia provides Zomia SPC with 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsorship, enabling tax deductions for gifts made to support Zomia students. Visit our donation page to make a gift and further our mission to increase access to higher education among students from marginalized communities.
Zomia provides graduates of the Pre-Collegiate Program (PCP) with priority funding in the loan application process and the ability to study at any accredited university in the world.
Since 2003, PCP has offered high-performing community-driven students from Myanmar a one-year immersive liberal arts program in Yangon. After graduating, many PCP students continue their studies at 4-year liberal arts colleges abroad. PCP works with universities to secure scholarships and tuition discounts, and students can apply for a Zomia loan to cover remaining expenses.
Serving Students in Southeast Asia
Child’s Dream has been working since 2003 to empower underprivileged children, youth, and communities in the Mekong Subregion. Among Child Dream’s projects is a program providing all-inclusive university scholarships to marginalized students in the region. Scholarships are currently available to students from Myanmar and Laos.
One of the longest-serving organizations working to increase access to education among Burmese youth, Prospect Burma has supported more than 1,500 Burmese students since it was established in 1989. Prospect Burma provides partial university scholarships to talented Burmese students, several of whom are also Zomia borrowers.
Brackett Refugee Education Fund
Since 1997, the Brackett Refugee Education Fund (BREF) has been supporting schools and students in South and Southeast Asia. From the beginning, BREF offered partial university scholarships and now supports more than 200 students a year.
Wedu is a foundation developing the leadership of women changemakers (called “Rising Stars”) around the world. They do so by supporting their Rising Stars’ unique lifelong journeys with leadership development programs, opportunities, and funding for education. As some of Wedu’s Rising Stars are also Zomia students, in 2018 Wedu and Zomia teamed up to better coordinate fundraising and loan administration efforts.
Thabyay Education Foundation
Thabyay Education Foundation, based in Yangon, Myanmar, provides English language training programs, an e-learning education platform, and scholarships and student support. For nearly two decades, Thabyay has administered scholarships on behalf of foundations such as Prospect Burma. Thabyay has also negotiated fee reductions for students at a number of quality universities in Southeast Asia.
Working to train the change agents of tomorrow, pointB recently established a Design-Thinking Center for Community Engagement at Mawlamyine University in Mon State, Myanmar. The center provides a six-month, project-based course in design thinking—a proven approach to solving social issues and challenges that focuses on empathy, collaboration, action, and optimism to create new solutions for local communities.
Minmahaw Education Foundation
Working to provide education to disadvantaged youth on the Thai-Burma border since 2007, Minmahaw Education Foundation prepares students to take a high school equivalency exam necessary to gain university admission. Several Zomia students are graduates of the Minmahaw program.
International Rescue Committee
Since 1990, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has assisted displaced people from Myanmar in camps along the Thai-Burma border. With assistance from Payap University, the IRC facilitates a one-year certificate course in Organizational Management for staff in the region’s community-based organizations.