Student Portrait

Growing up in a low-income family and being the first-ever person to earn a university degree have made me realize the integral role of education in my personal and professional life. Despite financial obstacles, it has always been my passion to pursue higher education as a powerful tool to resolve grievances and help build the country I was born in.

One of the most difficult times in my life was when my parents had to leave me under the care of my grandmother in a remote town in Magway Division. She then enrolled me at a monastic education center since she was a nun herself. I had to work on the monastery farm every morning and earn extra pocket money to cover my expenses as my parents were not able to send money to me. I had to care for myself until I reached the 10th grade when my parents brought me to Yangon to live with them. The years that I spent at the monastery taught me independence and self-sufficiency, changing my view towards the world.

As an educator and student, I have actively sought to make a difference in my community. After a year of studies at the Peace Leadership & Research Institute, I have actively followed political debates, listening to both sides, and eventually joining a youth-led initiative which encouraged cultural diversity throughout society and placed a strong emphasis on the importance of access to education and avoiding conflicts. My country’s challenges have remained close to my heart.

Additionally, I have been involved in many youth-led projects hosted across Southeast Asia, and found myself interested in the history of it. Southeast Asia is a key player in the current global political and economic landscape, yet its vast history is often taken for granted and left unexplored. James C. Scott’s book, “The Art of Not Being Governed” has led me to pursue a master’s degree in Southeast Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University as I was passionate about learning how Southeast Asia has evolved politically, economically, and socially throughout history. I aspire to be a historian and researcher in the field of Southeast Asian Studies.

 About Min

  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Chulalongkorn University
  • Master’s, Southeast Asian Studies
  • 1st Year in Program

Goals & Dreams

  • Uncover the histories of marginalized communities
  • Become a historian and researcher
  • Travel to Jordan

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $5,975
  • Amount Left To Fund: $5,475
  • Contract Duration: 12 years
  • Status: In School
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Min, in his own words

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The quote in the book Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit has been a source of inspiration during these difficult times, “Hope doesn’t mean ignoring these problems and challenges. Hope means facing them head-on, believing in the possibility of change, and taking action.” I firmly believe that understanding the history and taking firm actions can bring about positive change in Myanmar and Southeast Asia as a whole.

I believe that the Zomia loan will enable me to pursue my dream of becoming a historian and researcher in Southeast Asian Studies. Through a master’s degree program in Southeast Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University, I hope to uncover the hidden histories of marginalized communities and promote a more inclusive and just society in Myanmar and Southeast Asia.

In conclusion, I am confident that my academic background, unique experiences, and commitment to positive change make me a deserving candidate for the loan. As Solnit writes, “hope is a belief that what we do matters, even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand.” With a Zomia loan, I hope to make a positive impact and create a better future for myself, my community, and my country.

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

Q&A With Min

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
Right after my final examinations, I was offered a full-time position as an education specialist at an international ed-tech company. I remember how elated I was walking up to the building and being happy since I knew I would be applying what I learned in school to help uplift quality education through technology in Myanmar.
How would your friends describe you?
My friends would describe me as quiet and hardworking but fun to be around.
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
That history is not about what happened in the past but how it is going to impact the current reality.
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Web development
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Bring my family to Thailand
Where would you most like to travel?
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Stewed pork
What’s your dream job?
If you won $1 million in a lottery, how would you spend it?
I would give it to my parents as they have spent years of their life investing in me even if they were not sure what would become of me one day.

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