My name is Daniel, and I was born in 1997 in Ywar Thit village, Ngwe Saung Township, Ayawaddy Division, Myanmar. I have three brothers and one sister. My parents are farmers from poor and uneducated family backgrounds. Because they could not tolerate the hardships of life in the village, my parents moved to Thailand in 2006 to seek a better future.
Sadly, two of my brothers and my sister were forced to stop their schooling and support the family. Today, they already have their own families. My parents now work in a factory. Only my younger brother and I are studying.
When I was in Myanmar, I studied from kindergarten to grade two by walking from my home to another village. I liked to study even though it was difficult for me. After my family moved to Thailand, I was given a chance to study in a migrant education center called Huay Ka Loke School and live in their dormitory.
When I first arrived there, I was bullied and discriminated against by other students because I was new. It was my first time being away from my parents and living in an unfamiliar place. I was very sad, but I ignored my problems and focused on my education instead.
At Huay Ka Loke School, I studied from grade three to eight, and I continued to study grades nine to twelve at Children’s Development Centre (CDC). I used to be a very shy person in school, always hesitant to speak in front of other people. To overcome my shyness and gain self-confidence, I practiced and rehearsed repeatedly before going out to speak in front of others.
During my time at CDC, I had a chance to attend some trainings that improved my knowledge and skills so I would be better able to engage in school activities. Since I am musically talented, I became a leader of the band at our school. Every Sunday, I would organize a gathering for the band members to teach them music and practice. We played at special school events and celebrations. Moreover, I am passionate about writing my own songs and singing them to encourage other people.
- Age: 24
- Ethnicity: Karen
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Chiang Mai University
- Bachelor’s, Social Science
- 4th Year in Program
Goals & Dreams
- Become a community development leader
- Work in non-governmental organization
- Educate parents and children
- Loan Amount: $3,200
- Amount Left To Fund: $2,725
- Contract Duration: 11 years
- Status: In School
What Others Are Saying About Daniel
After finishing grade twelve, I joined Brighter Futures as a teacher. There, I learned about different teaching skills and methodologies and went on to teach in Hlee Bee School. Later, I finished a General Educational Development (GED) program and helped my mother organization, Brighter Futures, by teaching and preparing teaching materials.
When I taught, I encouraged my students to study by giving motivational speeches or simply singing my own songs. It was rewarding for me when I got to work with students, as I was able to help them understand each other and engage in collaborative activities more effectively.
As a person who is committed to helping others, I expect to become a community development leader after I graduate. In my community, there are many people who want to study but have no opportunities to do so. Therefore, I have a responsibility to help them. In my community, many parents spend their lives toiling away on farms. Since they are poorly educated, they don’t know how to improve their lives.
Some parents don’t allow their children to study even if they can afford to do so. Some children work on farms, while others go to other countries to work and support their families. My community is not developed because there are not enough educated people.
For this reason, I will go back to work for an NGO in my community and collaborate with village leaders to develop the community. I will provide training to educate parents and help them understand the importance of education. I will also encourage them to allow their children to study. For children who cannot afford to study, I will connect with my organization and villager leaders to help support their education. Children will have more opportunities to study, and parents will be willing to let them study.
At present, my goal is to continue my university education. My parents are factory workers and earn a very small income. As a result, they cannot support my university education. I value education since education can lift me and my community out of poverty. That is why I am applying for a Zomia loan.
Written by Daniel with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“I value education since education can lift me and my community out of poverty.”