Has PB provided support to Rohingya Muslims?
Prospect Burma supports students from across Myanmar. We do not discriminate based on gender, ethnicity, or other denominators of this kind. However, we provide scholarships to students undertaking a university education overseas, and as a marginalised and discriminated group, many Rohingya simply do not have a sufficient level of education or current opportunity to pursue this.
What is Prospect Burma doing to address that?
We are currently looking to partner with organisations which work in the Rakhine State to create more opportunities for pursuing further education. This is something we’ve done effectively in other areas of conflict within Myanmar, and since we opened our office in Yangon in 2016 are now even better placed to develop these types of partnerships. Our goal remains the same as when we started out – to change the country through education. With alumni returning to the country over the past 30 years, we have already seen people go on to do incredible things and make vast changes. They become change makers in their communities.
What can I do to help?
Prospect Burma needs your support more than ever.
The Rakhine State, however, is not only the scene of violence in the country at present. Over 100,000 civilians remain displaced in the Kachin and northern Shan States, where fighting has continued this year between the Tatmadaw and allied Kachin, Kokang, Shan and Ta’ang forces. Meanwhile, despite the spread of ethnic ceasefires in southeast Myanmar, no progress has been made on the resettlement of Karen, Karenni and Mon refugees who live in camps around the Thailand border.
With international scrutiny of the country at a particularly critical time, the worst thing we can do is withdraw funding from the people who are most able to make the vital changes needed to stop atrocities from happening in the future – the students.
What is Prospect Burma’s relationship with Aung San Suu Kyi?
Following the student uprising, and her imprisonment by the military government, Aung San Suu Kyi became a symbol of hope for the country. She became for many years an international figurehead for peace. Recognising the vital importance of education to shape a better future for her country, Aung San Suu Kyi became a vocal supporter of our work, and her health and education trust partly funds our scholarships programme. Over the last few years, the political situation in the country has changed dramatically, as has Aung San Suu Kyi’s status in the country. Prospect Burma remains, and has always been, a non-political organisation. Aung San Suu Kyi is not our Patron, a trustee, or our figurehead and does not provide any input into Prospect Burma’s strategic vision or into the scholarships decision-making process.