SAW NAY KAW HTOO'S STORY
Hi, I’m Saw Nay Kaw Htoo! After graduating from high school, I did not give too much thought about pursuing a bachelor’s degree – only two people from my village went to university. Instead, I responded to a strong calling I’ve had since I was young, which was to engage in community work.
Hence, after high school graduation, I trained and qualified as a Community Health Worker at Mae Tao Clinic at the Thai-Myanmar border, providing medical treatment to villagers and refugees. I am grateful that during my two years there, I was able to care for the ill and weak. However, I also noticed other problems that our patients were mired in, including poverty and threats from armed conflicts. I began to develop an interest in advancing broader social justice.
In order to learn more about law, social sciences and political sciences, I completed a diploma at the Peace Law Academy. Afterwards, I joined a United Nations-funded NGO called the “Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Myanmar”. As the Community Mobilizer, I liaised with village leaders in executing community-wide projects like a community-based health insurance scheme. Contributing to such projects gave me an unprecedented sense of fulfilment. I wished to follow the footsteps of my colleagues who had bachelor’s degrees, who could play even greater roles such as planning and design. Hence, I completed the General Education Diploma and was very happy to be accepted by Chiang Mai University, where I am currently studying Social Sciences.
To me, education is about empowerment – I hope to empower myself and thus to empower others. Myanmar has been through a lot in recent years, so community work will be ever-more important. With my passion, knowledge and experience, I hope to engage in meaningful projects and to contribute to society.
About Saw Nay Kaw Htoo
- Age: 29
- Ethnicity: Karen
- Place of birth: Karen State, Myanmar
School & Programme
- Chiang Mai University
- Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences
Goals & Dreams
- To work in an NGO where I can propel positive changes in society.
Interesting facts about Saw Nay Kaw Htoo
Q: What is your greatest adventure?
A: To me, learning and exploring new things at university has been a very eye-opening and exciting adventure.
Q: What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
A: "Try smart, not just hard", which my classmate at university told me.
Q: Who is the most inspirational person in your life?
A: My teacher, Steve Gomersall at Brighter Futures School. He is my role model as he has shown me how he overcame through different challenges in life. He always encourages me not to surrender no matter how hard life is. He believes in me and wishes me to become the best figure of my community.