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 Myanmar student to attend university.
Today, internal conflict has had a devastating impact on the country, and in turn on an individual’s ability to gain education, and meaningful employment. Prospect Burma has responded to what is going on in the country, and the growing and ever more urgent need for access to education, by developing and expanding our scholarship programmes. We believe that the best way to create deep and lasting peace in the country is through investing in education.
Education is critical to helping a country recover from the effects of conflict, and also conversely one of the first services to be lost, according to UNICEF research. With internal conflicts raging throughout Myanmar, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people being displaced, this is in many ways a more critical time for education in the country than ever before. The importance of quality education cannot be overstated. It has an enormous, life-long impact on an individual’s life. A child who is born to a mother with an education is twice as likely to survive as one without. Poverty is shown to decrease with an increase of education in a populace.
Our work is divided into three core programmes, Access to Learning, Learning to Leadership and Change in the Community. Through these programmes, we support the transformative education of eligible students, regardless of religious or ethnic background. In the short term, each of our beneficiaries’ 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 qualified, internationally-minded population with a passion for changing Myanmar’s future.
Through their experience of studying abroad, our scholars gain the skills, insight and knowledge of the wider world that can promote the development of a more peaceful, prosperous and just society in Myanmar. We believe that education facilitates free debate and is the essential foundation on which participatory democracy will develop.
Myanmar made new through the expertise of its people
We provide scholarships to committed and visionary people from Myanmar to gain skills and expertise to shape the country they want to live in. Prospect Burma scholars are dedicated to making positive and lasting change to their communities and to Myanmar.
We invest in 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 Myanmar or apply for a scholarship.
Our values are fundamental to what makes us an effective and forward-facing organisation.
Sky Age is a 7 month course which provides the children of political prisoners, who are also from some of the most remote areas of the country, with an intensive preparatory education. Sky Age provides around 30 students, aged 16-25, with English Language training in preparation for further education, but also critical thinking and computing, a vital component of education for anyone in the 21st century. The students live in the school, and have come from some of the most underserved areas in the country. Sky Age offers them an opportunity to change their own lives through access to education which they would not have at home.
The Kachin Intensive English School (IEP), in the remote Mai Ja Yang village on the Chinese border in Kachin State, provides residential English language classes, computer studies and teacher training to approximately 90 students each year. The majority of students come from poor farming families and others from orphaned or one-parent backgrounds. Due to the ongoing conflict in Kachin State, many of these students would otherwise not have access to further education. Prospect Burma funding pays for lecturers at the school.
Prospect Burma provides a small number of scholarships each year to enable Burmese students to attend English courses in a number of locations across the country, and undertake their International English Language Test System (IELTS) exam. Achieving an IELTS score of 5.5 or higher enables these young people to apply to universities abroad or improve their job prospects at home.