Overview We at Thabyay Education Network’s Arohana Scholarship Fund would like to extend our gratitude to all of you who have donated to our ‘University Scholarships For Students From Burma’ project on GlobalGiving. So far, we have raised a total of US$ 52,136 since the 1st September 2010 so we are now more than half way to our target of US$ 99,000! After the deduction of GlobalGiving administrative fees, we have now received a total of approximately US$ 46,377 in disbursements from GlobalGiving for the University Scholarships For Students From Burma project (funds are received over time in Thai Baht at different exchange rates, so USD figures can only be approximately calculated). By the 3rd September 2012, we had disbursed approximately US$ 39,954 to scholarship awards. Selection and awards Since the last report on 3rd September, the Arohana Scholarship Fund Committee has made two further awards totaling approximately US$ 6,423. The total funds now raised by the ‘University Scholarships for Students from Burma’ project have therefore supported 43 awards enabling 36 students from marginalized communities across Burma to start or continue their Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD studies at universities across Asia. The recipients of these awards comprise 16 women and 20 men, ranging in age from 19 to 51 (average age of approximately 27), representing nine ethnic groups, studying 27 different majors at 15 different universities in five countries across Asia. Below you will find information about each recipient and the details of their scholarship award.
Name: Htet Htet Zin
Subject: English Language Teaching
University: Hong Kong Baptist University
Award Type: Partial scholarship
Award Amount (US$): 6,123
In 2009, Htet Htet Zin graduated with a GPA of 3.59 from a respected Bachelor program in Yangon. While attending this program full time, Htet Htet Zin also completed a Bachelor of Arts in English from an Upper Burma university, via distance education. Upon graduation, Htet Htet Zin was invited to work as a Lecturer inthe English department of her university, a role which she held forover 3 years, while also working as a Teaching Assistant at an international school in Yangon and offering her service as a private tutor on the weekends to fund her education and living expenses.
During her study break, Htet Htet Zin also returned to Kachin State to volunteer as a teacher of English grammar and Kachin language to high school students. Following her passion for language education, Htet Htet Zin and a group of friends started an organisation to provide free English language training for young people in underserved areas. The organisation attracts many volunteers, however the group recognized the lack of professional language teachers to train the volunteers so Htet Htet Zin applied to further her education internationally at Hong Kong Baptist University, which quickly identified her outstanding ability and accepted her on a full tuition scholarship to the 1 year Master’s program. Two international donors came forward through GlobalGiving to finance the remainder of Htet Htet Zin’s living and travel expenses to allow her to take up her scholarship at HKBU. In her own words: “For me, education is nourishing our human capital and it includes any process by which a person of any age grows in knowledge, awareness and live skills. Now Myanmar needs an education system which will train people to improve their skills not merely about how to exploit one another but to develop our country as a whole. As our country is rebuilding as a democratic nation, citizens have to be professionals in their individual fields. I still also need to improve myself to become a professional in teaching field.”
Name: Aye Pwint
Subject: Social Science
University: Asian University for Women, Bangladesh
Award Type: Top-up
Award Amount (US$): 300
Born into a politically active family in central Myanmar, Aye Pwint was intrigued by her country’s complicated politics from a young age. Following her father’s imprisonment, Aye Pwint dreamed of becoming a judge, believing that she would be able to bring justice and law to an unjust system. In pursuit of this dream, Aye Pwint left Burma in 2009 to obtain further education on the Thailand-Myanmar border, where she was able to gain experience with community development organizations working with Myanmar populations. Learning of others’ experiences and hardships on the border, Aye Pwint decided to change her plans and work to support communities in Myanmar through educational and social change projects.
In 2010, Aye Pwint won a tuition scholarship to study a Bachelor’s degree at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. In order to help her adapt to the new environment, Aye Pwint began organizing events to encourage the students from different countries to engage with each other from her first year of study, arranging weekly film nights at the university and volunteering to teach the cleaning staff basic English language skills. Now in her 3rd year, this small grant is to allow Aye Pwint to continue in her studies for the semester. In her own words: “I would like to work to improve Burma in the future. I feel that education is the essential element which is urgently needed for the nation. First of all, I have to educate myself as otherwise I won’t be able to give the suitable paths for the next generation. I strongly believe that I can help in many alternative directions for my country’s educational and social improvement.” Future Plans Thabyay Education Network’s Arohana Scholarship Fund (ASF) is expecting further funds to be disbursed soon by GlobalGiving, at which point further scholarship awards will be made. Closing Statement We hope that this report shows clearly the potential of these scholarship recipients to become catalysts for incremental social change in Burma, and that you can appreciate the direct link between quality higher education and grassroots development in communities in Burma. We also hope that it demonstrates that even the smallest contribution of US$ 10 can make a difference in terms of keeping a Burmese scholarship student in university education. We would like to reiterate our gratitude to all of you who have helped raise funds for this project by making donations and spreading the word. We hope that this report will inspire you to continue to support us in the future. The beneficiaries of these awards, the students, have individually expressed their gratitude to us for the support they have received. We would like to pass on their thanks to you. If you have any questions about this report, or about our work, please do get in touch. With our best wishes, Katie Hodges
Program Manager, Scholarships and Student Support Thabyay Education Network
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Senior Program Manager