Student Portrait

Life is like a range of mountains which is a symbol of my experiences. I’ve noticed that nothing exists in one place, and everything changes according to time. My name is Nwe Nwe. I am Burman and was born in Magway division. I grew up in a poor farmer family. I have three siblings—two brothers (one is older and one is younger) and an elder sister. My elder brother and sister already married and my younger brother is still studying.

Though formal education is important, direct experience has much more value. When I finished high school, I had to help my family farm from 2004 to 2007. Once, I was crazy about becoming an environmentalist. This was due to my work experience as a farmer who was aware of chemical fertilizers and the effects of pesticide on our farms. My dream of becoming an environmentalist has changed but my strong desire to help farmers in any possible way has never faded.

Sadly, I never completed my degree in geography at Magwe University due to my parents’ economic hardship. I was too blind to see the world and studying in an international university was not my dream at the time. However, a good fortune brought me proper educational opportunities to achieve my goal.

In 2007, I got a chance to study at Minmahaw Education Foundation (MEF) in Mae Sot. I studied the General Education Development (GED) subjects and finally gained a high school diploma from the United States of America. Nevertheless, I was not strong enough to study at an international university. Therefore, I decided to continue my study at Kant Kaw Education Center (KKEC) in Myanmar which also prepares students for university. KKEC granted me a full scholarship to study in Yangon. Without MEF and KKEC, my life would be different from now.

MEF and KKEC gave me courage and empowerment to help people in need. With knowledge I gained from them, I joined a research team as a HelpAge International member to do a survey about promoting and rebuilding the society in the delta areas where Nargis washed thousands of people’s lives away.

 About Nwe Nwe

  • Age: 37
  • Ethnicity: Burmese
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

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

Goals & Dreams

  • Become a social worker
  • Open an education and vocational skills training center

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $1,150
  • Amount Left To Fund: $0
  • Contract Duration: 10 years
  • Status: Repaid in Full


Nwe Nwe, in her own words

HelpAge supported the project with funds to conduct the surveys. The surveys focused on old people, the poorest, and the disabled who were small business owners, livestock owners, farmers, and fishers. Afterward, I became more aware about people’s basic needs and this drives me today to have a powerful desire to serve society.

My efforts in academia and community work brought me good luck —I got a scholarship to study a bachelor’s degree in social science at Chiang Mai University (CMU) from 2011 to 2015. I couldn’t be more happy and proud to be a CMU student. I enjoy the new environment, accepting valuable knowledge both from outside and inside “the classroom,” and having fun with new friends from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. CMU offers me a brighter future and guides me to becoming a social worker by providing explicit knowledge of social phenomena in today’s world.

Though I belong to a poor farmer family and have always faced economic burdens, I never fail to encourage the young generations in my hometown to continue their studies. Whenever I have a chance to go back to my hometown, I gather young students and share about my experience as a student in an international university. Likewise, I usually make time to discuss with the headmaster of the village about children’s education. I truly believe that education is the only key to open people’s mind.

I am not rich and I never wish to be. Instead, I wish to have just enough to escape from financial problems during my academic year. Having financial difficulties has huge impacts on a student’s social and academic life. As I am introvert, I do not become upset if I can’t go to a big party and have fun with many people. Nonetheless, I love to travel to new places and explore real life while I am still young. Socially, making friends easily with people is not my type, but once I become close to somebody, I am loyal to that person.

I enjoy doing regular exercise such as yoga, jogging and playing table tennis. I am not a blogger but I get pleasure from writing a blog as well as reading. Listening to music is a habit for me too.

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

Nwe Nwe

Nwe Nwe

“Though I belong to a poor farmer family and have always faced economic burdens, I never fail to encourage the young generations in my hometown to continue their studies.”

Q&A With Nwe Nwe

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
Playing with my friends in middle school without burden or stress
How would your friends describe you?
Funny, loving, and loyal to friends
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
Sex education
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
Social science
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Good at the arts (drawing, music, and acting)
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Travel to the places that I’ve never been before
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
My mom’s cooking (small fish curry and Burmese sour soup)
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Maybe working as a social worker in an NGO or INGO. Or back to my hometown, settling down and building a small community education and vocational training center for those who might want that training for their life skills