Name: Thandar Lwin
Age: 32
Ethnicity: Kayaw
Area of Study: Gender and Development Studies
Level of Study: MA
Country of Study: Thailand
Amount Requested (1 year): $14,500

Brief overview of candidate

Thandar Lwin was born into a big family in Kayah State in Myanmar. When she was eleven, her father died, leaving the family very poor. Her mother could only just afford to feed the family, and was often unable to pay for schooling costs. On completion of high school, she studied for a BA in History by distance as she could not afford to attend full-time education.

Since 2001, Thandar Lwin has worked for a number of local and international development organizations in Kayah State. These experiences helped her to understand the range of political, economic, and social issues affecting marginalized people in her community, and the potential of development work to begin to address some of these problems.

Thandar Lwin is particularly interested in gender issues. In her work, she has noticed significant areas of gender inequality in her community, and how this negatively affects development. She would like to undertake a Master’s degree in gender and development in order to strengthen her theoretical understanding of this field so that she can return to Myanmar and implement practical ways to promote gender equality in her community.

In her own words

‘If I am able to gain better skills and knowledge in this field, I will be able to work more effectively in community development. I can raise awareness about gender issues in my community at the grass roots. I will train people, develop a manual on gender issues, and encourage the development of community groups focused on promoting gender equality.’