My name is Mway and I was born in 1991 in Shan State, Myanmar. As a kid, I didn’t get the chance to study. I stayed with my father because my parents were divorced. As a farmer, he just wanted me to inherit his work, so he never talked about my future education. But later my mom supported me and my education until I finished high school in Taunggyi, Myanmar.
When I was sixteen the police arrested my mom and kept her three months in jail. They accused her of selling guns and bullets to rebels but she was accused falsely. As soon as they released her we walked three days from the border to Fang province in Thailand where my eldest sister lived. There I got my first job working at an orange farm. The farm was hard work and did not pay fairly, so I quit after three months and moved to Chiang Mai to find a new job.
I always kept my dream to study. Fortunately, my friend informed me about BEAM Education Foundation (BEAM), and so I attended its GED program from 2010 to 2013. After getting my GED, BEAM gave me a scholarship, and now I am studying nursing.
In my first year, I learned the morals and code of ethics for nursing, and basic theories of nursing science—Florence Nightingale’s environmental theory, King’s theory of attainment, Watson’s theory of human caring, and so on. Outside of theory, I learned that being a nurse requires patience and autonomy—as professionals, nurses can do anything for the client that’s related to their expertise and do not need to wait for a doctor’s orders.
I want to be a gynecology nurse as I would like to study and take care of women and children. If I know explicitly how and why the female body works, I can take care of myself, my family, my community, and all other women who suffer from preventative diseases.
- Age: 28
- Ethnicity: Shan
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Chiang Mai University
- Bachelor’s, Nursing
Goals & Dreams
- Become a gynecology nurse
- Work in a local clinic or hospital in Myanmar
- Teach nursing at a medical school or university
- Loan Amount: $6,375
- Amount Left To Fund: $4,250
- Contract Duration: 13 years
- Status: In Repayment
Mway, in her own words
I believe if women know how to take care of themselves and their family members, then they do not need to worry about future generations because those children will pass on the skills innately.
In order to become a gynecology nurse I need to obtain a Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN) in four years, an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) in three, and then complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLE) for RNs, which requires half a year. After I complete these I can obtain a diploma in nursing. As ASN degrees require clinical experience, I plan to work at a hospital for a year before trying to get a scholarship to complete the degree. After my ASN I will go to ethnic refugee camps which need skilled nurses like me, and I will collaborate with officers to help them with health care for a year. After passing the NCLE, I will then have fulfilled my dream of becoming a gynecology nurse.
When that time comes I will go back to my community in Myanmar and work as a public servant in a hospital or village clinic. I believe that nursing is the best way to help my country improve its healthcare system, especially my community as they live far from developed cities. I also would like to teach at a university or medical school to share my knowledge and experience to students, as well as find time to volunteer at a mother and child care center.
Some advised me to quit school and work for the family. They said I was selfish because I left my younger sister to take care of the family. I felt bad and hopeless for my future. But when I asked my mother “Am I wrong because I chose to study?” she said “No! Not at all. You make me so proud, darling.” Those words give me power and make me brave to face anything that tries to avert me on the way to my dream.
Written by Mway with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“If I know explicitly how and why the female body works, I can take care of myself, my family, my community, and all other women who suffer from preventative diseases.”