Meet Nang Si Htong

 “Always believe in yourself. Even if your chances are thin, be open to life's surprises and possibilities.”

Nang grew up in a small town of Keng Tung in Shan state, Burma. She was born in a humble family, but due to some domestic problems she had to leave her home when she was ten. She was left in the hands of other people without proper love and affection. She adds, during her primary school days, she learned less as there was no need for a real understanding of the teaching material, as long as you could memorize what the teacher taught you in class and copy that for the exam. Later, she joined monastery school and started to comprehend some basics of life. Then at sixteen, she moved to Chiang Mai in Thailand where she got involved with a community based organizations and acquired some essential skills. Here she interacted with Burmese migrants and provided help and support. She learned that many of the migrants want to return back to Burma if the situation in Burma was better.

After she got in touch with the We Women foundation she received a scholarship to study in Bangkok, Thailand. She successfully completed her Bachelor honours program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. “With all the help and support I have received from We Women Foundation, I have been able to start to take control of my life and I am a lot more confident girl.” 

After that she worked as a social compliance auditor for factories. While checking on labour safety and working conditions, she got to know many migrant workers and learned about the vulnerable position this group takes in Thai society. While working, she felt, she could make a difference and learned more about the situations and dreams of other Burmese migrants in Thailand. However, she realized that as an employee, you have no voice, people don’t hear you. But if you have a good job and a strong network with business people, people will listen to you. Thus, she felt it was necessary to further her education to have more understanding of business psychology, its influence and ultimately respect. With the help from the We Women foundation she started her Master program in Business Administration in China. The program is very intense, with eleven courses at the same time and classes for more than twelve hours a day. However, Nang is highly motivated to do the best she can and to finish her degree.

Moreover, she is determined to learn Chinese, because there are so many Chinese investments in Burma at the moment. She intends to use her education to find a good job and create a network with the right contacts, so she can persuade others to do something good.  “I want to encourage people to invest in the country and be responsible, start organizations and create more opportunities for young people to build up the country.”

In ten years, she sees herself opening her own business or language institute. She was inspired by an organization that gave loans to students, so that the money will circulate to help other students. “That’s so inspiring, I want to do that myself.  I could start a foundation for example and have influence. I want to encourage people to help other people, be an advocate.” 

Copyright @ 2015 We Women Foundation