In Burma most children stay in school for fewer than 8 years and only 11% of the student population enroll in university. The system discriminates against women who yearn for an education in order to contribute to their communities. Pushed by circumstance they leave for Thailand where they become refugees or undocumented migrants with few prospects. This project provides these women with the scholarships to study at university and gain the skills and confidence they need to become future leaders
For many young women in rural Burma, growing up under a dictatorship has meant that their families struggle with hardship, forced labour, armed conflict and oppression. Moreover, the education system is biased against women. Female students must receive higher marks than boys to qualify for the same majors. If women leave and become displaced people or migrant workers in Thailand, their statelessness also excludes them from accessing educational facilities in the host country.
This project offers refugee women from Burma both a pre-university programme, which includes coaching, TOEFL, academic tutoring and job search assistance and an in-university programme which provides scholarships covering tuition, legal documents, school supplies, transportation, accommodation and living expenses. In 2013, we plan to award 5 new scholarships in addition to the 15 ongoing scholarships.
The scheme provides support for refugee women whose passions lead them to pursue higher education, enabling them to become leaders in their communities. The long-term aim of the project is to assist women from Burma to obtain positions of authority in policy-making and influential organisations so they can then empower other women and their communities, on their own terms. This project assists women who are fully committed to using their education to improve the lives of the people of Burma.