This scholarship means a lot to me, my family and my Ta’ang (Palaung) community. Since the first day of my arrival in Thailand, I promised myself to make most out of this opportunity and I did!
Nowai Linn was born in 1992 in Namhsan Township, Shan State in northern Myanmar. She is of Ta’ang (Palaung) ethnicity, a group that has experienced ongoing human rights violations including widespread land confiscation.
Of her motivations for pursuing higher education, she told us:
“Being a minority Ta’ang and growing up in a civil war zone – where groups of people are struggling for national identity – pushed me to take part in building a nation of democracy in homogeneity and diversity. My ultimate goal is for a civilised society where everyone’s voice matters, yet express a collective national identity.”
Prospect Burma enabled Nowai to complete a Master’s degree in Communication Arts at Bangkok University International College. Ever mindful of the issues in her own country, she chose to complete her thesis on ‘The impact of Myanmar media practices on Ta’ang minority culture‘. In 2016 she was selected by the US State Department to represent Myanmar at the Young South East Asia Leaders Initiative.
Alongside her studies, she has also participated in voluntary work with the Ta’ang community in Thailand and organised a group of young women from Myanmar living in Bangkok to discuss the role of women in the peace process, as part of Women’s Peace Table.
Today, Nowai Linn has returned to Myanmar and now works for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She is putting her skills and qualifications to use as the Consultant for Media, Advocacy and Communication. The UNFPA work on issues that affect Myanmar inclulding maternal health, HIV & AIDS, gender equality and gender-based violence. Nowai Linn’s job is to help promote and publicise the work of UNFPA, and help raise awareness of these issues and the things that can be done to combat them.
She told us: “I am dedicated to developing purposeful communication in promoting public awareness campaign, entertainment-education projects, and advocacy strategies aimed at agriculture, education, environment, family planning, gender equality and public health.”