Lae Lae

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How would your friends describe you?

They'd say I was friendly! I make friends really easily, and I'm a great communicator. I am a perfect chef and love cooking for people. My Moak Hin Kar, Burmese noodles, are very famous amongst my friends.

What the biggest challenge you've overcome to get to this point?

I left Burma in 2011 and couldn't complete my matriculation exam because of my financial situation. I came to Bangkok to find a job so that I could continue studying. So I was doing domestic work at the same time as studying. DR sponsorship helps - still sells cosmetics. Studying in English is a challenge, too. I ask my friends to practise with me.

Honestly, right now the biggest challenge for me is finding the money to keep paying my fees.


Who inspires you and why?

My parents. they didn't have a chance to study but they’ve always worked so hard to provide us. When I was young, they told me that education is the best way to change my life. So they give me the energy and motivation to keep going.

My dad is a cleaner and my mum is a nanny. They work so hard without holiday and without respect from their employers. My father especially had to do things that weren’t part of his job and people discriminated against him because he is from Burma. Seeing the way he has struggled has inspired me to try to fight for good, fair employment for myself.

What do you love most about studying in Thailand?

I love having my independence and I also enjoy the fact that there’s more cultural diversity here than at home. There is prejudice against people from Burma, but I fight discrimination by educating myself and making friends from different countries, to show that I am just as smart and capable as them!

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your money?

I have a dream to make schools for rural children. They shouldn't have to travel, or have to work, to get an education.

How do you think your Daughters Rising sponsorship has impacted your future?

Daughters Rising like a guiding star for me, making it possible for me to continue my studies. I had serious financial problems because my siblings also need tuition fees. I was already working at the weekend to try to pay for everything, but I couldn’t make ends meet. Daughters Rising has made it possible for me to follow my dreams.

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What is your proudest achievement?

I am proud of the way that I have found opportunities for myself despite the challenges and discrimination I faced. When I arrived in Thailand, I didn't have documents, but now I have a passport. I also found work with the Overseas Karen Refugee Social Organisation as an office manager: they helped me to find a provider to prepare for University entrance exams. I'm really proud of getting accepted on the Minmahaw Higher Education Program to get my GED. Without it, I wouldn't be able to continue studying at university. That has given me the freedom to study anywhere in the world! For now I’m learning International Business studies in Bangkok.

What is one thing you would change to make the world a better place?

Everyone to have the same rights and access to achieve their dreams. It's dangerous for young people who are sent to work in Thailand. We need to create job opportunities in Burma so that people don't have to leave!

What's your favourite movie?

Life of Pi! I’ve watched it so many times.