Student Portrait

My name is Khine. I am applying for a Zomia loan as I believe that my relevant community service work and strong determination to pursue a career in the social policy and development field make me a good candidate for this loan. I am pleased to have an opportunity to share about my education, family life, and previous work experience.

I come from a low-income family of eight, and I am the oldest of the six children. My parents were unable to support my high school education as they had no savings and struggled to feed the children. My father worked as a public employee in the government’s labor department. However, due to his small salary he struggled to support the family.

He decided to quit his job and moved the family to a town on the Thai-Myanmar border where he became a self-employed carpenter.

My mother assisted him in selling furniture while raising the six children. During this time I was very fortunate that my high school education was paid for by my father’s relatives in my hometown.

After high school, when I was sixteen, I left the country and worked as a housemaid in Bangkok, Thailand, to help my parents financially. I felt I had little hope of continuing my university degree and wondered how I would educate myself. I looked up every resource I could find in order to get information; during a BBC online interview with Dr. Thein Lwin, I asked questions about how a Burmese migrant could pursue an education.

After working for three years, I moved to Chiang Mai, where I had access to the Migrant Learning Center and continuously worked to balance my work and education. Through the support of the English Preparation Outreach Project (EPOP), I was lucky to earn my GED in 2010 while working with the migrant education program.

 About Khine

  • Age: 38
  • Ethnicity: Burmese, Pa O
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Thammasat University
  • Bachelor’s, Social Policy & Development
  • Graduated

Goals & Dreams

  • Become a social researcher
  • Work in a government department
  • Publish a book

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $3,850
  • Amount Left To Fund: $0
  • Contract Duration: 11 years
  • Status: Repaid in Full


What Others Are Saying About Khine

Although I have worked various jobs for many years, most of these roles provided only a minimum salary, and consequently I am not in a position to self-fund my university education. Moreover, there have been significant economic issues in Myanmar, so it is unlikely that my parents’ situation will improve or that they will be able to assist me during my further studies.

In 2012, with funding from the We women foundation, I completed the first year of my bachelor’s degree in social work at Miriam College in the Philippines. However, for various reasons I had to return to Thailand and was unable to go back to complete my studies in the Philippines. Shortly after, I was offered a job at a Thai international NGO working with vulnerable children and youth living in the Bangkok area. Through this experience I realized that Thailand is one of the best settings in which to study a variety of social services.

Currently, I am a first-year student studying for a BA in Social Policy and Development at Thammasat University. I am looking for a scholarship or financial assistance to complete my first degree. Through the university, I have also applied for the ASEAN scholarship to cover my tuition fees and other expenses.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I am confident that Zomia will give me a wonderful opportunity to study at Thammasat and help me gain a lifelong learning experience that I can take back to my country.

Written by Khine with editing assistance from Carolyn, one of Zomia’s volunteer editors.



“My dream is to help close the gap between the government and the people in order to improve my country’s social welfare programs.”



“I believe that by studying social policy and development, I will be able to help address the social problems that have overwhelmed my country and assist our citizens in overcoming hardships.”

Q&A With Khine

Survey Fun

What is your favorite memory?
The first time I worked as an intern at the migrant learning center
How would your friends describe you?
Helpful and resourceful
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
Child safety and life skills education
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?
Creative writing and drawing
If you could do anything you wanted now, what would it be?
Go to a university and finish my degree
Where would you most like to travel?
Ancient cities of Myanmar
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Pa O traditional food that my mother cooks