Student Portrait

My name is Kham Hom. I grew up in Noung Kong village, Nam Kham Township, northern Shan State, Myanmar. There are seven of us in my family of farmers. I attended grades 1 to 11 at Nam Kham Basic Education High School. After I finished grade 10, I taught kindergarten students during the summer. Upon finishing grade 11 in 2012, I decided to attend an internship program at Kaw Dai Organization in Kali town since my parents couldn’t afford to support my university education.

Kaw Dai aims to promote democracy and justice, especially through education in grassroots communities. In 2013, I briefly became a teacher at Noung Dong village in the remote area of Kali Township in southern Shan State. I learned a lot about the villagers’ livelihoods and the problems they faced. For a long time, they suffered from the civil war, so they had to move to a safe place.

Even though I had to deal with a lot of problems when I volunteered there, in exchange I gained the invaluable experience of being a teacher. In 2014, I participated in Kaw Dai’s intensive English program in Yangon which specializes in improving students’ English skills. While living in Yangon, I had the opportunity to attend the Human Rights Visual Storytelling and Advocacy Workshop, the Plant-for-Planet Academy Workshop, and a workshop on Engaging Youth for Democracy. In the last week of December 2014, I took the TOEFL exam and then returned to Kaw Dai Organization in Kali town to teach.

In 2015, I worked as an accountant for the Community Empowerment program. I went with the Kaw Dai Community Empowerment team to ten townships in Shan State. We shared with the people our knowledge of political, economic and social issues as we gauged the needs of local communities. In addition, we raised funds to help people who have lost their homes and families due to the natural disaster in Baleo Township, southern Shan State.

 About Kham Hom

  • Age: 28
  • Ethnicity: Shan
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

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

Goals & Dreams

  • Work with Kaw Dai to solve social issues
  • Help other students further their education

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $3,450
  • Amount Left To Fund: $1,700
  • Contract Duration: 11 years
  • Status: In Repayment
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Kham Hom, in her own words

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I hope to change my society which has many drug problems and people who lack education. Not only have I seen these problems in my community, I also grew up in a family which had no financial stability. I grew up seeing how my grandmother suffered because two of her sons were drug addicts and did not take on responsibility in the family. I used to collect bottles around my village to sell for school books when I was ten. I have worked really hard in many jobs to get where I am today.

Because I care deeply about these issues, I chose to study social science. I believe that studying social science will help me expand the knowledge and skills that I need to become a social worker. I believe that they will aid me in solving the problems in my community and my country at large. After I earn my bachelor’s degree and equip myself with other professional skills, I will go back to work with Kaw Dai Organization in order to solve problems more effectively. I believe that my organization can benefit from my good English education. I will be able to help students further their education so they can attend college in a foreign country and return to help their communities.

I will be working on youth capacity building to inspire more social worker. I also think that young people will be less susceptible to drug addiction if they can be educated. They will become good people for their families and active citizens for the country. I like the saying, “The youth are the people who create the future of society.” Hence, I believe I will be able to improve my society through education.

Written by Kham Hom with editing assistance from Esra, one of Zomia’s volunteer editors.

Kham Hom

Kham Hom

“I used to collect bottles around my village to sell for school books when I was ten. I have worked really hard in many jobs to get where I am today.”

Q&A With Kham Hom

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
When I had a chance to represent my people by showing our traditional culture to others
How would your friends describe you?
Hard working, helpful and self-disciplined
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
Responsibility and accountability
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
Sociology and economics
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Communication skills
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
I cooked for my family and we all had family dinner together
What’s your dream job?
Social worker
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
A coordinator in a program which focuses on local people’s needs and helping them find ways to improve society themselves

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Celebrating success!

Showing off an academic award