Name: Soe Shwe
Age: 22
Ethnicity: Chinese
Area of Study: Social Work
Level of Study: BSc
Country of Study: Hong Kong
Amount Requested (1 year): US$5,500

Brief overview of candidate

Soe Shwe was born in a town in the far South of Myanmar. When he was one year old, the family home burned down and the family moved to the then capital, Yangon, to make their living. Soe Shwe’s parents worked as hawkers, making just enough to feed and clothe their children, and send them to school.

Soe Shwe graduated from high school and studied for a BA degree in English via distance education in Myanmar, supporting himself by working as a translator for private companies. On graduation, he began to work as an English teacher, doing paid tuition, and as a volunteer supporting students preparing for exams.

In 2008, he joined an international NGO as a translator, working within the organization’s Child Protection program. This work exposed him to concepts of social work and child rights which he had never encountered before, and inspired him to want to develop his skills in this area. Soe Shwe wants to use the skills and knowledge that he could gain from studying Social Work to develop programs to protect street children in Myanmar from exploitation, abuse and trafficking.

In his own words

‘Due to the high levels of poverty, there are many street children in Yangon. These children often lack basic necessities such as water, sanitation, food security, health care, education, protection and social services. They are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and arrest. Seeing this, I began to think how I could make a difference for these children. I would like to work to evaluate the needs of these children, develop effective solutions, and advocate for better social policies to protect them. My ultimate dream is to make these changes.’