Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar

by BEAM Education Foundation
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Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
Empower 20 Young Changemakers from Myanmar
May 14, 2020

CSIP May 2020 Update

ThelThel teaching children at a construction site
ThelThel teaching children at a construction site

Dear all,

Hope that you and your communities are well! Life has changed quickly and drastically as the COVID-19 pandemic has become widespread throughout the world. Marginalized communities are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of the pandemic.  COVID-19 has deeply influenced the academic and professional lives of our scholarship students, but everyone is staying resilient and optimistic despite the rough situations.  Su, Weh, Thel Thel, and Chen have shared their updates and reflections here.

On behalf of our students and BEAM, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for your support of their educational and professional opportunities that transform both their lives and our communities' development. We wish you and your loved ones all the best safety and well-being during this difficult time. Hopefully, this pandemic will be over soon. Please take care!

Warmest regards,

Lulu

 

Su, 4th year studying Social Science at Chiang Mai University

How are you feeling about this semester?

This semester is the final semester of my academic career. I have only two subjects: seminar studies and Independent studies. I passed those stressful days of preparing for my seminar. My topic is on compensation and resettlement policy in Letpadaung (in the Salingyi Township of Sagaing Region of Myanmar) and this topic is new for me. I used to write about women's issues rather than other issues. To learn about new issues and new theories, I tend to spend 2 weeks collecting information and reading academic articles. Moreover, I tried to get a suggestion from my Ajarns (“professors” in Thai). I felt nervous doing the 3-hour seminar because this was my first experience in my life. However, I tried at my seminar as much as I can. I got good marks and comments from Ajarns. After that, I started my independent studies. I chose a new topic again, which is related to Myanmar’s migrant workers in Japan and South Korea. To do interviews, I went back to Yangon. Now, I am still working on this research paper.

 

How did you do in your most recent exams?

In this semester, we didn’t have classes and exams.

 

Have you participated in any events/community service recently?

I didn’t participate in any events/ community service recently because of COVID19.

 

What are your summer plans (classes, internship, work)? Or if you are graduating soon, what are your future plans?

Regarding my future plan, I will work at SAW (Social Action for Women) Foundation after this semester. SAW is facing a lack of donors and financial supports; thus, I want to find donors and network for SAW as much as I can.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share/comment/ask us?

I would like to thank the CSIP Committee for supporting my education. The CSIP scholarship is very beneficial for me because I got not only financial supports but also new experiences with the internship. Also, I get to learn Shan migrant workers and their livelihoods. I have no suggestions regarding improvement, and everything has been great for me.

 

How has this COVID situation impacted your education and internship in the last 3 months?

The COVID situation has impacted my education because I cannot go back to Thailand now. I don’t know when it will be okay to go back to Thailand. My visa will expire on the 31st of May, and so I need to go back Chiang Mai and cancel my visa. However, I cannot go back yet.

 

What other challenges/issues do you foresee might impact your education and working life in the next 3 - 6 months?

As I mentioned about my future plan, I will work in SAW (Social Action for Women) organization. However, I cannot go back to Thailand now because of COVID – 19. I cannot get out of my home. I might be jobless for the next 3 months.                                                                                                      

 

Weh, 4th year studying IT at Payap University

 How do you feel about this past semester? Were your classes challenging? Easy?

The first part before the midterm exam has been going well as this is my final semester, and I have been fully encouraged and motivated to make it big. This year I have to take 6 courses to graduate, but I have taken 7 courses in order to have options to choose in terms of grades as well as to gain more new knowledge related to my study. I believe that I have made a good decision in taking 7 courses this semester.

 

How did you do on your final exams? 

As I am still halfway for this semester, I have just done with the midterm. I am satisfied with my midterm exam score, and I am doing well overall in most of the courses, including assignments and midterm exams. 

 

Have you participated in any school events/additional community service recently?

 There are not many activities that occurs this semester at Payap University. However, there was a major event—the graduation ceremony. As a PMSF president, I organized Payap Myanmar students to congratulate the graduating Payap Myanmar students.   

 

Did you enjoy your internship? What were your responsibilities? What did you learn?

I have really enjoyed interning at BEAM. I am glad to do the internship at BEAM because I started my education dream at BEAM by studying GED. And now, I am doing the internship at BEAM by helping create GED online examination for people like me who are starting their dream by studying GED. My main responsibilities are digitalizing BEAM’s GED online examination and distribute the information effectively. Through this internship, I have learned the logical structure of the BEAM GED examination server. It reflected my studies on Web structure design.

Also, this semester, I have gained new experience such as recreating the writing and drawing contents from white-board into info-graphic contents. It’s not a hard thing to do, but I have faced some difficult time to understand the content as I was not there when it has been written. But, I have been successful by communicating and asking.

 

What did you find most challenging at your internship?

One of the challenges is that I have to give a lot more time to my senior project, and on the other hand, I also have to finish my assigned tests as a volunteer at BEAM. But I am really glad that I made it without failing those tests and my subjects.

 

What are your summer plans (classes, continue to intern, work)?

My plan for this school break is going back to my hometown because I haven’t been home for almost 3 years, and I have also lost my wallet with my national ID inside so I will go back and redo my ID. On the other hand, I will go meet with my grandmother, my uncles, aunties and the relatives. After that, I still wish to do the internship at the BEAM and I am really happy to continue my internship at BEAM.

 

ThelThel, 2nd year studying Social Science at Chiang Mai University

How are you feeling about this semester?

The previous year was very challenging for me. However, it was filled with so many exciting things and new experiences. The second semester of the third year was actually much easier than the previous semester because I had to take fewer courses. At the beginning of the semester, I enrolled in six courses, but I withdrew one course called Popular Culture in Southeast Asia before the mid-term exam. I withdrew from that course because I had to take the hardest subject called Technoscience and Modern Society, and I was afraid that I could not do well on its term paper and presentation. Therefore, in order to focus more on that course, I withdrew from my Popular Culture in Southeast Asia course. Actually, it was a major elective course. So, I could enroll in it again in the coming semester. To be honest, this semester has been flexible, and I do not have many challenges. I really enjoy this semester. 

 

How did you do in your most recent exams?

This semester is almost over and I just have finished two exams. Due to the current COVID19 situation, I could only take these exams online. I believe that I have done well on both exams since I have fewer courses this semester and got more time to prepare for the examinations.

 

Have you participated in any events/community service recently?

In this semester, I participated in BEAM’s 10th Year Anniversary event and got a chance to help with cooking in February 2020.  I was doing my internship at View 17 Camp and teaching Burmese to Shan ethnic children. However, because of the current COVID-19 outbreak, I am taking a break from the internship. I will be continuing when things get better. Recently, I joined to help with cutting fabric face masks at Chiang Mai Polytechnic College for BEAM’s Community Campaign for Fighting against COVID-19 (check out our GlobalGiving fundraiser please).

 

What are your summer plans (classes, internship, work)? Or if you are graduating soon, what are your future plans?

I guess I will be in Chiang Mai during my summer break. I have nothing special to do but I will continue my internship and preparing for my seminar for the next semester at Chiang Mai University.  

  

Is there anything else you would like to share/comment/ask us?

Firstly, I would like to express my greatest gratitude to CSIP and teachers for continuously supporting my studies. Now, my third-year journey is almost finished, and I am excited for the final year. CSIP provides me with not only financial resources but also it new knowledge, experiencse and skills to contribute to our community. It is a great opportunity for me because I can apply these experiences and skills in the future after I graduate from university. Thank you so much for your support.

 

How has this COVID situation impacted your education and internship in the last 3 months?

This COVID19 outbreak has not only impacted my education but also the internship in the last 3 months. I have been studying online due to the current situation for a month now. Because of this COVID19, I have to stop studying one course called Participatory Development Field Research. This course required fieldwork or field research practically, and it is a compulsory course. However, every student who enrolled in this course finished only one assignment, which is evaluated only 30%. There is 60% more to do with fieldwork and I have not completed it yet since the COVID19 outbreak period. Therefore, I have to continue this course in the coming semester and the whole class grade for this course will be I (“Incomplete”) this semester. Moreover, the COVID19 also impacts my internship and I think that I only did 18 hours of my internship in the last 3 months. Therefore, I am not going back to my hometown in Myanmar during my summer break and I will be continuing my internship until it is completed.

 

What other challenges/issues do you foresee might impact your education and working life in the next 3 - 6 months.

 I have to attend classes for only one semester in my final year and another semester will be an internship. If the current COVID situation could not improve, then I guess I would have to attend online classes and it would impact my plan to do a 5-month internship in Yangon.

 

Chen, 2nd year studying English for Communication at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University

Unexpectedly, the last half of the second semester of our class had just begun for a couple of weeks, because the COVID-19 started hitting Thailand and other countries. As we know,  the virus has forced many enterprises to shut down. My university has started online classes since March 20th. Since then we have been taking online classes. For me, studying online is quite challenging. It was not comfortable for me and many of my classmates either. Obviously, I had to do assignments and tasks double the amount when I was attending a normal class. On one hand, online studying is medically positive since it is less risky of getting infected because I didn't have to be in a crowded classroom. On the other hand, it was difficult for me that I couldn't get good internet access and need better technology stuff to enhance my studies. However, I now feel relieved because the final examination is over eventually. Now I am waiting to see the results of the tests. 

I have stopped going teaching at the construction camp as well. I hope this disease will be over very soon so that I can resume my teaching. I miss my students and I know that they also miss me. 

Su on a field trip at a village near Doi Inthanon
Su on a field trip at a village near Doi Inthanon
ThelThel helping at BEAM's 10-year Anniversary
ThelThel helping at BEAM's 10-year Anniversary
Su on field trip for a course on environment
Su on field trip for a course on environment
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Organization Information

BEAM Education Foundation

Location: Chiang Mai - Thailand
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Kyaw Kyaw Min Htut
Chiang Mai, Thailand

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