Student Portrait

Because our people have suffered for too long from injustice, corruption, discrimination and disaster, I will stand and assist those in need and do whatever I am capable of to help.

My name is Ni Thaw. I am from Myanmar. Currently, I am working on a master’s degree in social science at Chiang Mai University (CMU) in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Before enrolling at CMU, I worked for two years as an assistant project coordinator in the Christian Social Service and Development Department. The name of our project was “Building Resilience of Conflict-Affected and Displaced Communities,” which was implemented in Karen State. Our project was designed to promote livelihood security, capacity building, and awareness of disaster risk reduction.

As an assistant project coordinator, I had to develop a work plan together with our project coordinator and partners (ACT Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, Norwegian Church Aid, Dan Church Aid, and Christian Aid). I organized and participated actively in the program planning process and made sure that all related components of the program were well understood. I helped each village implement their activities plan, evaluated progress, and made sure that the communities were able to manage things by themselves. We also provided technical advice and assistance to the field staff.

My most valuable learning experience was writing action plans together with the Village Development Committee for our 20 targeted villages. When we listen to the voices of communities and propose activities they really need, their incomes and capacity increase. I have observed that if we work closely with the communities, we build trust and empower them to develop in a way that is beneficial to both human beings and the environment.

 About Ni Thaw

  • Ethnicity: Karen
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Chiang Mai University
  • Master’s, Social Science
  • Graduated

Goals & Dreams

  • Become an educator
  • Pursue a PhD

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $1,650
  • Amount Left To Fund: $1,550
  • Contract Duration: 10 years
  • Status: In Repayment
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What Others Are Saying About Ni Thaw

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Sadly, most villagers in Karen State are illiterate and don’t know how to write even a single word in either Karen or Burmese. This is one of the consequences of civil war in Myanmar. However, I encouraged them to communicate their needs and wrote down as much as possible whenever I monitored the villages.

While working in the field, I realized that education is the key factor to enhancing the peace process in this democratic transition of Myanmar. Currently, I’m researching ethnic education, especially the Karen Education Department (KED), which is not recognized by the Myanmar government. I believe that ethnic education will play a crucial role in promoting a genuinely peaceful and democratic Myanmar.

In the future, If I am qualified enough, I would like to pursue a PhD and conduct further research about ethnic education policy in Myanmar since the country has so much ethnic diversity. Multicultural education should be a focus in the future of a democratic Myanmar.

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

Ni Thaw

Ni Thaw

“Ethnic education will play a crucial role in promoting a genuinely peaceful and democratic Myanmar.”

Q&A With Ni Thaw

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
My bachelor graduation ceremony
How would your friends describe you?
Always smiling, positive and has a good personality
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
Moral education
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Debating skills
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Studying for a PhD
Where would you most like to travel?
Around the world
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Pork, Tar Ka Baw (Karen traditional soup)
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Pursuing further studies

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