I was born in Ye Township, Mon State, southern Burma in 1987. When I was five years old, I started attending primary school. I studied for four years until 1997 when my mother sent me to a monastery to continue elementary school in Mawlamyine. She did this because only primary school is available in my village. For me to continue my study I had to go to the city. In the summer, I studied Mon language at the monastery. As a result, I can read and write my mother language.
After I took the tenth grade examination, I tried to find a job to support my family. But my family’s financial situation grew worse after the price of rubber dropped, so my father decided to sell his rubber plantation to neighbors. I stopped my education and left Burma at the age of sixteen I met a lot of young people migrating on my way to Thailand.
After four months in Thailand, Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) asked me to volunteer at their organization. I was responsible for collecting human rights data, so I often had to interview people migrating to Thailand. Most of them said they migrated because they didn’t have job opportunities or enough income to support their families in Burma. I considered that Burma needed economic reforms to create more job opportunity for the nation. At that time, I had a dream to continue my studies in either media or business so that I could help my community get more job opportunities and dignity for their lives.
In July 2008, I had the opportunity to attend Wide Horizons (WH) in Mae Sot, Thailand, to improve my English and management skills. During the nine-month program I learned about fair trade coffee in Ethiopia and how the farmers who produce coffee don’t have enough income for their families. It’s the same situation in Burma with rice. Burma is best known for its rice exports, but the farmers who produce rice are poor and don’t have enough income to support their families.
About Seik Mon
- Age: 35
- Ethnicity: Mon
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce
- Bachelor’s, International Business Management
Goals & Dreams
- Improve business for society
- Become a social entrepreneur
- Be a community leader
- Loan Amount: $2,550
- Amount Left To Fund: $0
- Contract Duration: 11 years
- Status: Repaid in Full
What Others Are Saying About Seik Mon
Based on my experience, I believe that social business can create better income for our society. In August 2012, I worked at Friends-International in Thailand. During my work with them I learned that the community needs social business to get more income to support the family. I think that creating a small business is one of the most effective ways to help the community get sustainable jobs and stable incomes for their families.
If we want to be a leader for the society and create more jobs, then we should know about economic principles and law. The civil war and economic crisis in Burma led me and my nation to lose freedom, dignity, and human rights. Mismanagement of economic crises in Burma led the citizens to migrate to neighboring countries. We need more skills and education about global business to rebuild a strong Burmese economy, and I strongly believe that social business and fair trade can improve the lives of the lower- and middle-class people in Burma. My goal is to share my knowledge and practice from my business degree to improve business for society.
Written by Seik Mon with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“I would like to say that if we want to be a leader for society, we should know about the law for the economic system. Rebuilding the Burma economy to be strong, we need more skills and education about global business. Therefore, I believe that my business study will bring results for society.”