Student Portrait

I was born and grew up in Lashio, which is situated in Northern Shan State of Myanmar. My parents came from poor families. With modest material legacy left by their parents, both well knew hardships. They were convinced that the only assurance in life was hard work and education. I distinctly remember in my early childhood my parents scolding me when I didn’t study hard in school. At first, I didn’t know why they pushed me so much. The discipline was, in fact, extremely challenging and pushed me. Moreover, there were a million do’s and don’ts—forbidden fruits, etiquettes, and rituals that I hated from the bottom of heart.

After that, I became a conscientious schoolgirl who tried her best on exams. I was hardworking because I was afraid of my parents. However, eventually, I learned to relish the taste of academic success.

I always remember my mother’s words that “first we pushed you, and then you pushed yourself.” The older I grew, the more I appreciated their priceless values. Thanks to them, I am now able to deal with people tactfully, build self-confidence and self-control, and manage an exceptionally mature and independent life.

I was always elected leader of the class not only for being academically strong but also for actively participating in all extracurricular activities as a leader of the school’s fundraising program, youth activities, etc. After I graduated from high school, I was privileged to volunteer at a non-profit library called Information Center for Every Youth (I.C.E-Youth).

With strenuous effort, passionate enthusiasm, and amicability, I was assigned to be one of the executive members of the library. As an executive member, I hold various roles. I mediate disputes between the seniors and patrons who help young people. These young people are blinded and deafened by heavy censorship.

 About Ei Lin

  • Age: 35
  • Ethnicity: Burmese
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

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

Goals & Dreams

  • Become a social entrepreneur

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $1,475
  • Amount Left To Fund: $0
  • Contract Duration: 10 years
  • Status: Repaid in Full


What Others Are Saying About Ei Lin

I also develop the students’ academic and intellectual talents by providing the latest and most reliable information on standardized tests, and conducting education seminars and talks. I have been doing this for more than three years.

At the same time, I gained much knowledge about community-based projects by attending a social research program, community development workshops, and early childhood training. Furthermore, when I had time, I volunteered at different places, including a monastic school, youth training school, and an orphanage. This is where I found my passion to serve my community.

The more I work in social activities, the more I want to teach children and help them to become educated and broaden their knowledge. I cannot be silent for those who are struggling just to meet their basic needs. To access higher education is difficult for them due to lack of support from public education. The taste of community service has encouraged me to move towards pursuing a higher degree.

I have finally found that my heart really yearns for the art of helping and giving back to the community. To do this, I need to fully arm myself with a higher degree. The only way to quench my thirst for knowledge was to quit public school and study international tests such as the TOEFL and IELTS to enrich my skills.

However, it was a great challenge for me being away from my parents and hometown. In order to reduce my parents’ burden on my education cost, I did part-time tutoring to earn some income in order to live in the city. With my parents’ unwavering support and my strenuous perseverance, I took the risk and pushed myself beyond the boundaries as I prepared for tests and scholarships. At the same time, I served in various local non-profit grassroots organizations which allowed me to devote my heart and soul to those yearning for a helping hand like me.

Fortunately, my hard work brought me an opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Southeast Asia with the support of scholarship. However, due to budget limitations, my scholarship can no longer fully support me and so I have to search for funding to cover my academic year. Therefore, I decided to apply to Zomia which not only can fulfill my education, but also encourages me to continue studying in an academic surrounding where I can dedicate myself to school, finish my degree, and get closer to my future career.

Written by Ei Lin with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.

Ei Lin

Ei Lin

“The more I work in social activities, the more I want to teach children and help them to become educated and broaden their knowledge. I cannot be silent for those who are struggling just to meet their basic needs.”

Q&A With Ei Lin

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
When I volunteer and meet with different people
How would your friends describe you?
They would describe me as caring, honest, cooperating, determined, and a good planner
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
Except for learning skills, for me I think responsibility and manners are important things you should know for about in your life
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
I was always curious about society; why society is changing and how people are changing, so mostly about social science subjects
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
I wish I had more adventure–ability to explore the things that I have not known yet
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
I would like to learn how to manage a social enterprise
Where would you most like to travel?
I have never been other places except Thailand and my country. I would like to explore places with rich cultures and historical buildings, especially Europe
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
My mom’s Burmese chicken curry dishes