Student Portrait

My name is Dar Linn. I was born in Irrawaddy Division, Myanmar. When I was 14 years old, I moved to Thailand with my family. It was in 2008. Since then, we have been living in Umphiem Refugee Camp in Thailand.

Approximately thirty years ago, my parents were Karen freedom fighters in the Irrawaddy Delta region. In 1991, my father was arrested since he was involved in the fight against government soldiers who brutally killed Karen people and forced Karen freedom fighters to surrender. Fortunately, due to a government amnesty program, my father was released after spending two years in prison.

After I was born, my father cut ties with the freedom fighters and became a farmer. However, in 2008, he was accused of defaming the constitution and summoned for investigation. My parents were questioned and threatened by the authorities.

Fearing further investigation and persecution, my parents fled to the Thai-Burma border. After arriving in Thailand, we were allowed by the Karen National Union (KNU) to live in a refugee camp. While living in the camp, I helped my community as much as I could. I taught English grammar to the children since they have little education. After spending time in the camp, I moved to Mae Sot, where I joined Social Action for Children and Women (SAW) and studied for the GED exam.

During my time at SAW, I was responsible for living with the orphans and taking care of their needs. I taught them English and ironed their school uniforms. Additionally, I volunteered to teach at the SAW Migrant Learning Centre during the 2015-2016 academic year.

In the migrant settlement areas in Thailand, there are at least 72 migrant schools and learning centers. More than 14,000 students study in these schools. Almost 700 students in Grades 4, 8, and 10 take the Myanmar board exam every year. I was assigned to teach English and Mathematics to the students from Grades 1 to 4.

 About Dar Linn

  • Age: 29
  • Ethnicity: Karen
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Chiang Mai University
  • Bachelor’s, Social Science
  • Graduated

Goals & Dreams

  • Become a social worker
  • Become a community development leader

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $6,750
  • Amount Left To Fund: $3,950
  • Contract Duration: 13 years
  • Status: In Repayment
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During this time, I also served as an accountant at the School of Agriculture. I attended several training courses as a representative of SAW. After completing my GED program, I helped new GED students from SAW with their studies. I was also involved in the financial program of SAW by helping the tailors during my free time.

Currently, I am a second year student at Chiang Mai University majoring in Social Science. Although I have applied for scholarships including Child’s Dream, Brackett Refugee Education Fund and Prospect Burma, I have failed to receive their scholarships. With limited financial support from the Brackett Foundation, I have been continuing my university education.

Believing in lifelong learning, I would like to work towards achieving my academic goals. Moreover, I hope to contribute more to my community—a goal that seems impossible without attaining a higher level of education and acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills. Therefore, I will do my best to finish my educational journey and serve my community after I graduate.

Written by Dar Linn with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.

Dar Linn

Dar Linn

“I don’t want to stop my education because I believe in lifelong learning and have spent most of my life studying.”

Q&A With Dar Linn

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
Leaving my village and coming to Thailand
How would your friends describe you?
Funny, friendly, silly and frank
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
Political systems
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Leadership skills
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Change Myanmar’s 2008 constitution
Where would you most like to travel?
Kayah State, Myanmar
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Rice with fish curry
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
A community development leader in my hometown

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