Student Portrait

My name is Laura. I was born in a small village in Ayeyarwady Division, Myanmar. I have three elder brothers and one younger sister. My father was a farmer and my mother is a teacher. I started school when I was five years old. I loved it as I followed my mum to school every day.

In 2007, my father passed away because of high blood pressure. My mum faced challenges raising us alone. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis destroyed our farm, so she decided to leave. She first sent my brothers to Mae La Refugee Camp in Thailand. Later, my sister and I followed.

Life was extremely difficult when I first arrived in the camp. We didn’t have any relatives, so there was no house for our family. My brothers were in a dormitory, while my sister and I lived with our mum. She tried to get help from others to find a shelter to live in, and finally she found a place for us. It was a dormitory for widows provided by the Karen Women’s Organization.

It was hard to watch my mum working strenuously as a daily worker. When I had free time, I followed her to wash clothes for other people so we could earn some pocket money. I wanted to be educated so I could help her one day. We could only stay in the widows’ dormitory for one year, so I decided to live with my brothers.

I was in grade 5 when I arrived at the camp. During my time there, I never had a chance to leave the camp or go back to Myanmar because we didn’t have any money or documents. I wanted to leave and study in Mae Sot, but I couldn’t find an opportunity to do so. There were no opportunities to access higher education or get a good job in the camp, so I didn’t want to spend my life there.

I wanted to experience the environment outside and study aboard. I couldn’t find any opportunity to get out, so I finished grade 10 in the camp. After finishing grade 10, miraculously, I got a chance to study in Thoo Mwee Khee School. I did a two-year program of Leadership and Community Development. After that, I moved to Mae Sot to prepare for the General Educational Development exam at Moe Ma Kha School.

 About Laura

  • Age: 21
  • Ethnicity: Karen
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Asian University for Women
  • Bachelor’s, Science/Arts
  • 1st Year in Program

Goals & Dreams

  • Work in refugee community
  • Help refugee youth to get good education
  • Enable refugees to work and travel freely

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $725
  • Amount Left To Fund: $725
  • Contract Duration: 10 years
  • Status: In School
$
$ Added to Basket

Quotable

What Others Are Saying About Laura

You can also lend using the pink button atop every student profile.

After I passed the GED, I volunteered as a teacher in Kawe Ka Boung School for two months and received a job offer from PlayOnside. While working for PlayOnside, I acquired valuable social and leadership skills. We have many projects in the organization. My job title was coach and educator, but I also worked as a finance assistant in the office. Moreover, I took responsibility as an assistant project manager in Thone Set Thone Su Summer School and as a project manager in Pa Deh Summer School.

Currently, I am studying at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh, where I’m majoring in Science and Arts. My future goal is to return to work in the refugee community. I hope to help refugee youth get good education and enable them to work and travel freely and without fear. I want refugee youth to have opportunities just like any other young people.

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

Laura

Laura

“I hope to help refugee youth get good education and enable them to work and travel freely and without fear. I want refugee youth to have opportunities just like any other young people.”

Q&A With Laura

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
Living with my parents and siblings
How would your friends describe you?
Patient, hardworking, friendly
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
How to be a good citizen
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
English
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Swimming and singing
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Skydiving
Where would you most like to travel?
Bagan
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Karen traditional food
What’s your dream job?
Community worker

You can also lend using the pink button atop every student profile.