I was born in a small village, Duya, located in Ye Township, Mon State, Myanmar. My parents are farmers and lack education. I am the third daughter of seven siblings. When I was young, we lived on a small betel nut farm and grew vegetables and seasonal fruits such as mango, pineapple, and so on.
When I was five years old, my parents moved to a village in order to send my sisters and me to school. When I was eight, my father got tuberculosis and other diseases so couldn’t continue to work and support our family. At that time, my sisters and I worked to help my mother. Every day I woke up at 5 a.m. to prepare vegetables and fruits with my mother and went to the village market to sell them. I brought back oranges and bananas and sold them at school to cover stationery costs. After school, I went straight to the farm for gardening and then returned home at 7 p.m.
From the time I was ten until finishing eleventh grade, I visited Ye Market and sold fruit to merchants on weekends. I opened a small snack shop at school and sold snacks at movies displayed on a small TV screen. Before I attended university, I worked on a betel nut farm, where I harvested and peeled betel nuts so I could save money. I bought and sold betel nuts with that money to make it grow. During my university semester break, I always returned home and worked for two months. After graduating from university in 2009, I worked on our farm and helped my parents support my four younger sisters. While studying, I met several classmates who were applying to international universities. I was very interested in studying in an international program but believed I’d never have an opportunity.
In 2011, I ran into a member of Overseas Mon Women’s Organization (OMWO) in Mae Sot and told her that I would like to continue my education. She said I might have an opportunity to study while working as a volunteer for OMWO.
About Non Ah
- Age: 30
- Ethnicity: Mon
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Payap University
- Master’s, Business Administration
- 2nd Year in Program
Goals & Dreams
- Bring Myanmar’s agricultural products to international markets
- Become a successful business manager
- Loan Amount: $5,800
- Amount Left To Fund: $1,800
- Contract Duration: 12 years
- Status: In School
What Others Are Saying About Non Ah
My role at OMWO was to manage and assist women and children in the OMWO shelter, take mentoring assistants to their cases, facilitate communication with organizations such as Mae Tao Clinic and Social Action for Women, assist with fundraising, and help with report writing and budgeting for the women’s shelter.
In 2012, I attended a Health and Earth Rights Training Program provided by Earth Rights International and Mae Tao Clinic. After successfully finished an Organizational Development course concentrating in finance, I worked part-time as Assistant Trainer of Basic Accounting for a certificate course at Tak Community College and Suwannimit Foundation. In 2016, I applied for and was granted a position as finance manager for a community-based organization in Mae Sot.
After working with different migrant communities for years and studying at Payap University, I developed a dream to promote local businesses in Myanmar. I have applied to Payap’s International Master of Business Administration program and am sure that I will learn finance, management, marketing, and leadership skills in the MBA program. The program will help me improve my knowledge and achieve my long-term career goals. I am confident that the MBA program at Payap will give me hands-on and practical work experience.
Written by Non Ah with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“After working with different migrant communities for years and studying at Payap University, I developed a dream to promote local businesses in Myanmar.”