Pann Ei Sann
Over many years, ongoing internal conflict across Myanmar combined with the after effects of natural disasters such as Cyclone Nargis have resulted in huge numbers of people being forced from their homes. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimates that there are around 662,400 internally displaced people (IDPs) living in Myanmar*. Driven from their homes, these people are forced to live in temporary accommodation. Access to basic needs including healthcare, sanitation and education for many is severely limited, if available at all. In 2017 hundreds of thousands of people from Rahkine State were forced to flee to the border with Bangladesh*, following violent attacks of villages. They are now living precariously in refugee camps, where they face many difficulties including lack of access to clean and safe water, sanitation and food supplies. Prospect Burma’s alumni are amongst those working hard to improve the quality of life for Myanmar’s internally displaced people.
Pann Ei Sann received a PB scholarship to study a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Management at St Paul University, Manila, which she completed in 2015. Her own education suffered as a result of conflict in the Kachin state. In her original application to Prospect Burma, she told us “Now, the civil war is still happening in our region, Kachin State and we don’t know when it will stop.”
She has seen directly the impact that the war has had on families in the region: “I have seen students from Kachin State suffering as a result of the civil war and being in need of support. Though many UN organisations and local donors can provide their basic needs: foods, hygiene materials and household things, it is also crucial that they can develop their minds… Education is the best tool to nurture good attitudes and values.”
In conflict zones, education is one of the first services to be lost. It is also an incredible valuable tool.
Today, Pann Ei Sann works for Karuna Myanmar Social Services (KMSS), Banmaw, in the educational management department promoting access to education for IDPs. She told us: “KMSS Banmaw works for the promotion of holistic human development, the realisation of justice and peace and the provision of welfare and relief serviecs to the poor in Banmaw Diocese. KMSS is currently working for internally displaced people because of the civil war.” Her department has a scholarship programme for young people, and she will also be working on projects such as early childhood care and development. Her longer term goal is to create a private education facility of her own, where she can provide a quality education to people from Kachin.