My name is Nan Shwe Sin, I am of mixed Burmese and Pa-O background. I grew up in Hpa-an Township with three married elder sisters and one younger brother. My father passed away when I was fifteen years old, and my mother works in the Umphiem refugee camp office. I finished ninth standard in Myanmar and tenth standard in Umphiem camp.
My parents got divorced when I was twelve and afterwards, my brother and I moved from Hpa-an to Yangon to live with my aunt. Meanwhile, my mother went to work in Bangkok to support our education. She really wanted me to attend university because my sisters did not graduate. My mother once told me, “Only education can help you escape from poverty and guide you to the right path.” Unfortunately, she was unable to support us because she was sold for labor. However, we got in touch with my father, and he supported us.
Life is full of unexpected twists, and it does not always go well. After I finished ninth standard, my father died of cancer. I could not continue my studies and gave up on my goal of becoming a nurse. A few months after my father’s funeral, I reconnected with my mother and she was in Umphiem refugee camp, so we moved to the refugee camp in 2011. My mother encouraged me to work hard in school and try to achieve my goals wherever I am. I continued my education at Karen Refugee Camp No. 2 High School and finished high school in 2013.
After graduating from high school, I worked as a midwife in the American Refugee Committee for one year and five months. This working experience helped me understand that health workers are essential to the well being of a community. Moreover, I found joy helping deliver babies for women in labor because I felt that my hands were welcoming new generations of people into the world. I was inspired by mothers because they are heroes who do precious work and endure the most dangerous process for their children.
About Shwe Sin
- Age: 23
- Ethnicity: Burmese, Pa O
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Chiang Mai University
- Bachelor’s, Nursing Science
- 3rd Year in Program
Goals & Dreams
- Become a registered nurse
- Provide health education to rural communities
- Promote women and children’s health
- Loan Amount: $8,725
- Amount Left To Fund: $4,200
- Contract Duration: 14 years
- Status: In School
What Others Are Saying About Shwe Sin
In March 2015, I attended “Common Elements Treatment Approach” training for two weeks and learned some counseling skills. I also worked for three months in the Thai Border Consortium (TBC), which is one of the non-government organizations providing food, shelter, and other forms of support in refugee camps. After that, I had an opportunity to study in Australian Catholic University and graduated in May 2017. It was an important step that allowed me to continue my education at Chiang Mai University International College.
Today, my ambition is to become a qualified and registered nurse because it is required to work in the country. If I am registered as a nurse, I can make good decisions related to health. This has been my goal since I was young. Moreover, while working as a midwife, I saw the importance of health in the community. For instance, health education is essential; a lack of health education leads to diseases and unnecessary risks. Most people from Myanmar accept traditional methods to cure diseases. Unfortunately, some of these traditional methods can be harmful.
Traditional methods of child delivery are still widely used in rural areas. In addition, traditional methods of abortion are common among teenagers in Myanmar because they are not aware of the risks and do not understand the concept of family planning to avoid unsafe sex. I want to help as much as I can to improve healthcare in Myanmar. As a registered nurse, I will use my skills and knowledge to prevent communicable diseases like diarrhea in rural areas, promote women and children’s health, and provide health education to the community, including traditional practitioners. I strongly believe that I will be able to achieve my goals after studying at Chiang Mai University.
Written by Shwe Sin with editing assistance from Esra, one of Zomia’s volunteer editors.
Shirley Worland, Lecturer at Chiang Mai University
“ Shwe Sin is a woman of quiet determination with an amazing capacity to overcome the hurdles of life.”
“I found joy helping deliver babies for women in labor because I felt that my hands were welcoming new generations of people into the world.”