If people are educated they can check the government abuse of power, if people remain uneducated the government can rule and oppress as it wishes.

OUR STORY

How Prospect Burma Began

Prospect Burma began life in 1989, following the pro-democracy uprising of the previous year. When we first started out, our work focussed on supporting refugees who had been forced to flee the country. We began raising funds for books and classes in refugee schools, and we awarded one annual scholarship to an exiled Burmese student to attend university. Since then we have grown exponentially, focussing on the provision of higher-education to Burmese students. To date we have awarded over 1,300 scholarships to Burmese students studying around the world.

In 1988 the Burmese military regime suppressed mass student-led pro-democracy demonstrations. Aung San Suu Kyi became the focus of Burmese people’s hopes, speaking out for human rights and multi-party elections, but demonstrations were violently quashed with large numbers of people killed. Martial law was imposed, universities and schools were closed down and thousands of young Burmese people fled to the country’s borders. In response, supporters around the world began to raise money to send basic provisions, and Prospect Burma was born.

Today the work we do is more important than ever, as new democratic developments since 2011 are increasing the need for infrastructure and vital skills in Burma. Education is the key to a sustainable future for the country, and is at the heart of what we do. Each year our scholarship programme enables more Burmese students to gain vital skills in higher education, to help build a brighter future for the country. Our scholarships prioritise key developmental subjects, which include public health, education, the environment, human rights and public administration. Our students come from a broad range of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. In many cases, when our students return to the country their skills are unique within Burma, as they have gained expertise in areas which are continually developing, while the education system within Burma remains static, under-resourced and below global standards.

In 2015 we awarded 93 scholarships to students studying undergraduate, masters and PhD degrees in a huge variety of subjects, at Universities around the World. We have watched our alumni go on to achieve incredible things, with a very high percentage taking their skills back to their country.

OUR VISION

Our vision

Burma transformed through the expertise of its people

Our mission

To support the transformation of Burma through the education of its people. Prospect Burma awards higher education scholarships to passionate and visionary Burmese people, to provide this generation with the skills and expertise to shape the country they want to live in. Prospect Burma is inspired and endorsed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and shares her belief in the ability of education to create a peaceful, democratic, inclusive and just society.

Our values

We are INCLUSIVE – We award scholarships to students regardless of ethnicity, gender or religion

We are ACCOUNTABLE – We take pride in delivering our service with integrity to our supporters and our students

We are EXPERTS – We have been dedicated to our cause since the student uprising of 1988 and understand Burma. We invest in the best education to ensure our students receive the skills and expertise the country needs.

Find out how you can help us to work for a positive future for Burma or apply for a scholarship.

Our Advocate: Aung San Suu Kyi

“For many years during the days when it seemed that democracy was just a faint hope on the horizon, our hopes were kept alive by friends from abroad who made us understand that we had not been forgotten. This was what kept us all going, and now that we are in a position to take a more active part in building up the future of our own country, we want to equip our people in such a way that they will be able to make the best decisions.

To me, that seems the most important part of education: to help people to make the best decisions. If our young people are taught to make the best possible decisions then we can say that education has succeeded in Burma.

Burma has been left behind because our education system was weak, because our political system was undemocratic and because our people were never given the chance to realise their potential.

The past is the past and it cannot be changed. But the future is in our hands to shape as we wish it to be. And I would like our young people to have the right equipment, the right intellectual, mental and spiritual equipment to shape the country that they want to live in.”

WHAT WE DO

SCHOLARSHIPS

The main focus of our work is the provision of scholarships to eligible Burmese students, regardless of religious or ethnic background. In the short term, each of our students’ lives are dramatically transformed by the qualifications they gain with our support, which enables them to find meaningful work and gain valuable qualifications and skills. In the long term, we are helping to build a vital task force for Burma’s future. Since 2011 Burma has started a long overdue process of reform, and the need for highly-educated and skilled people is more pressing than ever. All of our students are committed to returning home when possible and to using their new expertise and qualifications to rebuild civil society in Burma.

In 2015/16 we provided £342,085 of scholarships to 93 students. Of the 23 students who graduated in 2012, eleven have already returned to Burma, with eight of them working in the fields of education, health and journalism. Nine of them are doing Burma related work elsewhere and one has gone on to study for a PhD.

Find out how you can support our work, or make a donation today.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND BRIDGING PROGRAMME

We provide support to help prepare students for study abroad, and to help them transition into employment. With the opening of our new in-country office this year, we will be able to provide even more support on the ground.

GOVERNANCE

KEY DOCUMENTS

Annual report and audited accounts

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Year overview 2015-2016

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