Fighting for education: Nan Nin Shwe Yi Lin’s story
The sad loss of her father at age 7 had a big impact on Nan Nin Shwe Yi Lin’s life. Instead of spending her time studying and playing with school friends, she had to work throughout her childhood and there wasn’t money for her education. She was an excellent student and loved to study, and Nan Nin Shwe Yi Lin knew how important education was for her future. She studied hard to gain qualifications that would take her to Mawlamyine University, Myanmar where she studied English with support of local education organisation. With the support of Prospect Burma, she secured a place at Assumption University in Thailand to study Nursing Science. During this time, she also became a part time volunteer health educator and health survey data collector.
In 2010, Nan Nin Shwe Yi Lin began work with an organisation called Imagine Thailand Organisation, where she was responsible for implementing health and wellness programmes for the Myanmar migrant schools on the Thai-Myanmar border.
However, throughout her time working in and studying healthcare, Nan Nin Shwe Yi Lin noticed an increase in the population of homeless elderly people. She told us that: “Around 70% of households in have a child living abroad or on the Thailand border line. Many children are not sending any money home and the parents start to struggle alone with their own health and mental health issues…Unfortunately, there is no elderly home in my home state of Kayin.”
Nan Nin Shwe Yi Lin developed a plan to put the knowledge and skills gained from her education to help implement better “health care policy and provider payment systems” in Myanmar. She particularly wants to focus on “healthcare delivery”, especially in the care of elderly people. She has graduated with a Master in Public Health and can now focus on bringing her dreams to life. Despite her difficult early years, her hardwork and determination have helped her to gain vital skills and qualifications, which Myanmar so desperately needs.