My name is Miki. I moved to Thailand from Myanmar in 2012. To provide my brother and myself better education opportunities, my parents decided to cross the Thai-Myanmar border. They believed that education was a key for us not only to have a bright future but also to bring positive change to our community.
Although I was a little girl, I was excited to learn foreign languages, especially Thai. While I was learning foreign languages, I was able to widen my horizons. Since I started my tertiary education at Children’s Development Centre (CDC), a migrant learning center in Mae Sot, I became more earnest about my studies as I learned that “your efforts never betray you.”
I studied all subjects by heart. Among them I particularly loved Community Development, which influenced me to set a goal to become a social worker. The class required us to have a critical-thinking skills and observe the community more objectively without being biased.
To become a social worker and support my community in the future, I asked myself which skills and knowledge I would need and which language would be most useful to learn. Apart from my studies, I participated in band activities. Through music, I was able to make many friends and was given a chance to engage in numerous events to support my school and community. I wanted to do something meaningful during my school years, so I co-organised and held a fundraising event for my school, which came to a good result.
Once I had my mind set on seizing all opportunities to pursue my dream, I began attending a non-formal education program to learn Thai more seriously. Along with Thai language skills, I needed to improve my English and earn a diploma to achieve my goals, so I applied to the GED program offered by BEAM in Chiang Mai. Although it was fiercely competitive, I was selected for the program. During my study, I was able to improve my English skills. I was even given an opportunity to study abroad at Asian University of Women in Bangladesh with a full scholarship. Nevertheless, I had to decline this great opportunity.
- Age: 19
- Ethnicity: Karen
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Chiang Mai University
- Bachelor’s, Social Science
- 1st Year in Program
Goals & Dreams
- Become a social worker
- Become an organization coordinator
- Loan Amount: $2,475
- Amount Left To Fund: $2,375
- Contract Duration: 11 years
- Status: Prefunded by Zomia
What Others Are Saying About Miki
Meanwhile, I was actively engaged in various youth programs. Of them, I had a great experience at JUMP! Youth Leadership Conference, run by the JUMP Foundation. As part of the program, I built a team, designing and implementing a development plan to improve the community. My team’s goal was to raise awareness of the hardships that migrant children along the Thai-Myanmar border face accessing higher education and raise funds to support them. With this project, we won a grant from the JUMP Foundation.
I passed the GED exam without a gap year and received my letter of acceptance to Chiang Mai University. Reflecting my future goals, I applied to enter the social science program. Although I was seeking grant and scholarship opportunities, I wanted to spend my time wisely. Thus, I applied for an internship at Mae Tao Clinic, which has been providing health care and education services to migrant people from Myanmar for almost 30 years. I learned basic things about how social workers serve people in need and gained valuable experience.
I have no doubt that after studying social science, I will be able to comprehend how development works and various phenomena that result in conflict and/or reconciliation. With a broader and deeper perspective to look into a society, I believe I can develop an effective approach to resolving issues and making things better for society.
I hope to be able to apply the knowledge and experience I gain from my education to my community, where I can be useful. After graduating, I hope to live and work along the Thai-Myanmar border, providing essential services to people from Myanmar like my parents, who cannot fully enjoy basic rights such as health and education.
Written by Miki with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“After graduating, I hope to live and work along the Thai-Myanmar border, providing essential services to people from Myanmar like my parents, who cannot fully enjoy basic rights such as health and education.”