My name is Naw Dah. I grew up in Kyaukkyi Township, Bago Division, Myanmar. When I was young, our village faced an economic crisis, and some of my friends quit school to work. Some went abroad legally, but many went illegally. Some were arrested by the police and had to pay large sums of money. Luckily, my parents worked and supported my education.
I went to school in Kyaukkyi and finished high school in 2013. My family could not support me to continue my education, so I left for Mae La Refugee Camp to study at Pu Taw Memorial Junior College (PTMJC).
During my time at PTMJC, I was elected as a vice president to lead the students. This position allowed me to develop leadership skills and self-confidence. It was a great opportunity for me to use my abilities in real life. After finishing at PTMJC, I was given a chance to study for the GED at Minmahaw Higher Education Program.
Throughout its history, Myanmar has been an agricultural country. Most of us depend on farming. We grow crops such as rice, peas, maize, and rubber. The soil in Myanmar is fertile and the crops grow well, yet we do not have good markets in which to sell our crops. It is difficult to reach other villages because the infrastructure is poor. There are few telephone lines and limited internet connections. Often, there is not even electricity for people to keep up on the latest news or what is happening to the economy.
It is a great opportunity for me to attend Asian University for Women (AUW). After graduating, I will return to work in my village, which lacks electricity and internet connectivity. I will help farmers by improving markets so they can export crops to neighboring countries. Moreover, I will conduct surveys to find out what the villagers need and want. I plan to import food from other countries and sell it in my village. Furthermore, I will share my knowledge and give training to villagers who do not know how to do business.
About Naw Dah
- Age: 22
- Ethnicity: Karen
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Asian University for Women
- Bachelor’s, Economics
- 2nd Year in Program
Goals & Dreams
- Become a successful businesswoman
- Improve the roads and infrastructure in my village
- Loan Amount: $2,000
- Amount Left To Fund: $1,875
- Contract Duration: 10 years
- Status: Prefunded by Zomia
What Others Are Saying About Naw Dah
Most people know little about doing business in my village. They only know to work abroad as manual laborers. If I can share my knowledge with others, they will be able to improve their lives and work peacefully in their villages.
I also plan to renovate the main road that connects my village with others. During the rainy season, it is very difficult to use this road. Because it is the main road, we have to use it everyday. If the road is destroyed, it becomes a big problem. In the rainy season, many students cannot go to school because of it.
Finally, when I earn profits from my business, I will buy a bus to take students to school. If children can get to school by bus, they will attend classes every day. It will serve as motivation for them to remain in school and increase the number of students enrolled, ultimately producing more educated people and improving our community.
In the future, I hope to become a successful businesswoman. I want to look after my parents and live with them in peace. Because my parents struggled to support my education when I was young, I would like to repay their commitment to me when I get older.
Written by Naw Dah with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“If I can share my knowledge with others, they will be able to improve their lives and work peacefully in their villages.”