My name is Thang Thang. I grew up in a small town called Falam in Chin State, Myanmar. After my father passed away when I was seven, I lived with my grandparents. My mother is a nurse who used to work in different places. I lived without her for about 10 years. While my mother was away, my aunt raised me and nurtured me to become the person I am today.
When I was a child, I was very interested in learning English, so I studied by myself. I memorized the meanings of words, listened to English songs, and practiced English grammar. My childhood dream was to be able to speak English when I became an adult. I passed the matriculation exam during the 2014-2015 academic year. After that, I went to Chin Institute of Social Science (CISS) and studied different subjects related to social science.
Even though I am still young, I am a very ambitious person. My dream is to become a great researcher one day. I love doing research related to education and politics, and I am very interested in studying social science. When I was in CISS, the subjects that were taught convinced me to study more about social science. We did courses such as environmental science, gender studies, Myanmar politics, introduction to journalism, active citizenship, and reading, writing and speaking in English. The subjects were taught in English, so it helped me improve my spoken and written English.
In 2017, I was given an opportunity to enroll at Chiang Mai University and a chance to continue studying social science. I really love and care about my community in Falam. In a community, many issues that arise involve social science. I am not in the university to study just for myself, but I am studying in the hope that I can give something back to the people of Falam. This community shaped me into who I am, and I want to give something back in return.
About Thang Thang
- Age: 21
- Ethnicity: Burmese, Chin, Falam
- Country: Myanmar
School & Program
- Chiang Mai University
- Bachelor’s, Social Science
- 4th Year in Program
Goals & Dreams
- Become a researcher
- Become a teacher
- Loan Amount: $7,500
- Amount Left To Fund: $5,975
- Contract Duration: 13 years
- Status: In School
What Others Are Saying About Thang Thang
For the last couple of years, I have been privileged to travel throughout Chin State and receive various kinds of training and research experience. During that time, I have witnessed the exploitation of local people since they don’t have awareness of their rights and don’t see politics as a way of improving their lives and achieving development. I hope the knowledge and skills that I gain throughout my university education can help me promote the rights and knowledge of this community in the future.
During my first year of study, I didn’t receive any scholarships but still decided to enroll. My former teacher from CISS in Thailand offered me free room and board, and we created a go-fund-me page online, where many generous people helped me with donations. That’s how I was able to pay for my first year of study. This year, unfortunately, I was again unable to earn any scholarship support. In addition to my limited financial resources, there have been other challenges. I have struggled to adapt to the new environment and university life in Thailand. Being from a small town with no access to computers and technology makes this a challenging learning experience.
Despite my struggles, I have gained numerous opportunities as a result of my experience in Chiang Mai. I have begun to understand more about the importance of social research and how people are influenced by the structures and systems around them. Through extracurricular activities, I have gained more awareness of art and other important issues. I have also had a chance to go on many great trips in northern Thailand. The journey has been very rewarding, but I still feel there is so much more I have to learn.
I would really like to continue learning and get the tools to take back to Falam to help my people. Finishing this journey successfully would definitely be a life-changing experience for me and my community.
Written by Thang Thang with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.
“Finishing this journey successfully would definitely be a life-changing experience for me and my community. ”