It was a hot summer in 1988 when I was born, a time of chaos and revolution in Myanmar. My parents named me Peter. I was raised in a small town call Kyaing Ton in Shan State. My mother and grandmother took care of me most of the time because my father left home to work as a broker to find money for our family. I have a twin brother. He is the only brother that I have ever had.
I attended the local school in Myanmar until switching to an international school after grade six. I managed this by selling our family’s possessions. I studied in that international school for three years until grade eight, the year my parents couldn’t afford for me and my brother to continue our studies anymore. From then on I stopped my education—I was totally cut off.
In 2005, my parents got an opportunity to move to Thailand for work because we couldn’t make a living in Myanmar. So we moved to Thailand and lived in Ranong (border of Thailand and Burma in southern Thailand) where other migrant Burmese workers make a living in harsh conditions. I was unable to attend school there because I didn’t have any basic educational background and I couldn’t catch up with the Thai schools. And my parents, who are just missionaries for migrants in northern Thailand, couldn’t afford the cost of an international education.
I helped my parents with their work as pastors during that time, but despite my efforts I still had to rely on them because I didn’t earn enough. I hoped conditions would get better though, and I still wanted to finish high school and receive a higher education. All I could do was pick up English books from places they collected old books and paper to recycle.
- Age: 34
- Ethnicity: Tai
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Payap University
- Bachelor’s, International Business Management
Goals & Dreams
- Work in a company to gain experience
- Help to bring more investment into Myanmar
- Open his own business or company
- Loan Amount: $10,875
- Amount Left To Fund: $8,850
- Contract Duration: 15 years
- Status: In Repayment
What Others Are Saying About Peter
When Cyclone Nargis hit in 2008, we helped some of the Burmese workers because no one would help them and we couldn’t bear to stand by and watch our countrymen in distress. We all gathered and helped families recover their businesses, built houses for those who had lost theirs, and gave out food, water and medicine to local people.
In 2009, my family and I moved to Chiang Mai hoping to make a better living than the previous four years in Ranong. Luckily one of the local non-profit organizations gave me a job as a video editor because I knew English and was familiar with computers. I had the opportunity to interact with people and participate with teams on projects. Everything went well but the salary was so small I could barely save.
For almost three years I worked in the department of graphic design before deciding to attend one of the migrant schools, BEAM Education Center, in Chiang Mai in 2011. I was really thankful to be back in education again. It was a privilege to study for the GED since it is equivalent to a high school education. For over eight months I prepared myself for the GED with the other students in migrant schools, and we took the final exam in Bangkok in June of 2012. The results that came out were great. I was so happy to have passed the GED. I am really thankful for this privilege of education and I am not going to forget the help and opportunity I owe to BEAM.
I want to become a businessman and help not only my family but people who are in a situation like myself—those who want to continue their education but are stuck because they are financially deprived. After I graduate from Payap’s International Business Management program, I am planning to work in a company to save some money and get experience in order to establish my own business or company in Myanmar. Although I live in Thailand, my heart and loyalty is to Myanmar, my motherland. By growing more businesses in Myanmar, we create more jobs and bring more business people to invest more.
Written by Peter with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“I want to accept a loan from Zomia because I am in need of finances for my university study fees, and I want to achieve my dream of becoming a businessman.”
“Although I live in Thailand, my heart and loyalty is to Myanmar, my motherland. By growing more businesses in Myanmar, we create more jobs and bring more business people to invest more. ”