I am Flaurince. I was born the oldest daughter of my parents in 1995. My family consists of six members—my parents, two younger sisters, one younger brother, and me. We are from Loikaw, Kayah State, but we live in Chiang Mai, Thailand now. I am an ethnic Kayaw girl from a poor and humble-minded Christian family. I am 5’4” with broad shoulders and a fine build, so of course I pursue sports such as basketball and badminton, and I also swim twice a week. My complexion is fair and I am chubby. My long hair is dark and straight. I am friendly and have many friends.
My father is a carpenter working in Chiang Mai, and my mother is a housewife and a dependent. As the oldest child, my parents expect me to balance my life and know how to meet my goals and be a good citizen of the world. In my childhood, I would get indulgences like toys from my father. He would pay for these and tell me that I was a princess to him. And then my parents would tell me to listen to their words. They said they wanted me to be patient with other people and be a hardworking student. I tried to be what they wished.
My ethnicity is Kayaw which comes from Kayah. Most people don’t know the Kayaw, and some have never even heard the name. Kayaw is minority ethnic group in Myanmar with a literacy rate below one percent. The Kayaw just survive by farming. The Kayaw are very honest, innocent, and they live in undeveloped areas. Very few Kayaw are educated so they can’t even let others know the ethnic group exists. I want someday to improve the Kayaw lifestyle and would like Kayaw people to be educated so that they can catch up to other ethnic groups.
I have learned that there is good everywhere and in everything if you look hard enough for it. When I was six years old, I was separated from my family because of economic hardships. Even though both of them worked, everything was so expensive they could not provide for me, so I had to live with my grandparents and I continued my studies under poor conditions. I was very sad being separated from my family when I had just finished first grade at school. But my parents taught me always to focus on the positives and not the negatives of life. Although we were separated and this was very hard for me, I attempted to remember the things they taught me about finding positive things in life.
- Age: 26
- Ethnicity: Kayaw
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Payap University
- Bachelor’s, International Business Management
Goals & Dreams
- Become a successful businesswoman
- Raise awareness about the Kayaw people
- Loan Amount: $9,425
- Amount Left To Fund: $7,475
- Contract Duration: 14 years
- Status: In Repayment
What Others Are Saying About Flaurince
When I was in eleventh grade I worked hard at my studies. I was good at mathematics and economics and I attended my classes regularly. I obeyed the teachers and did my homework, and that is the reason why the teachers loved me. Also, my classmates liked me because I was helpful. For example, when my classmates didn’t understand math problems they would ask for my help. I really wanted to help and explain the solution to them to be clear. After solving the problem they understood everything, appreciated me, and I felt blissful to have been able to help them.
Despite being separated from my parents, I didn’t want to hurt my chances at an education. Even though I felt very emotional, I remembered that I had to work hard for my family as the eldest daughter. This is why I want to become a businesswoman—to help and be dutiful to my family. I was so happy after I passed the matriculation exam for high school, because up until then I thought that I would have lived with my family until the end of my life. After I passed the exam, my parents called me to come to Chiang Mai to stay with them to continue my academic studies with either scholarships or loans because my parents could not afford the costs of my study. I’ve wanted to study at Payap University majoring in business management; this is my dream until now.
I have strong determination to fulfill my future plans under any circumstance. I have a clear view to support my family and my community. If I finish my education I can definitely serve my country. Something else to consider is that the ASEAN countries are opening and we will have more global opportunities. Then, people can take more opportunities and establish a new way for people living in the ASEAN countries. I believe that would be effective for Myanmar to work with other countries and get business, health, and educational opportunities, as well as a more modern lifestyle.
Written by Flaurince with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“I want to educate my ethnicity on how to acquire more opportunities to become better known and modern.”
“Statistically, Myanmar, my native country, still needs many types of improvements, including business to catch up to other neighboring countries. Beyond 2015, the ASEAN countries will have an open market economy. We need broad knowledge and experience on global business to benefit our country and the region. At this time, there will be competition at everywhere and we will need to be in a good leadership role.”