Every journey has a story to tell.
In summer 2011, twenty of us joined the Migrant Outreach Education Initiative (MOEI) Program organized by the Faculty of Social Science, University of Hong Kong. In the programme, we taught English to the refugee children along the Thai-Burma border. The children learned at a speed like a sponge and we volunteers, had grown a lot too throughout the summer programme. At that moment, we could not help but wonder: what if our fellow HKU schoolmates from various disciplines were here as well? How much greater of an impact we could make on these children’s lives? Then, we went on thinking, what if we invite students from different disciplines with different expertise to lend a helping hand to the children?
This has become the spark to our journey.
Connecting Myanmar is the brainchild of this group of passionate volunteers. Led by young professionals and students, it is an NGO in Hong Kong which organizes various summer volunteer programs in Myanmar and the Thai-Myanmar border. Since 2017, Connecting Myanmar is an approved charitable institution under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.
Through our programs, we aim to:
- To support Myanmar people towards a sustainable livelihood by connecting Hong Kong students with Myanmar people
- To nurture university students as global leaders with humanitarian characters by utilizing their potentials in addressing the problems in the Myanmar community
Since 2012, we have worked with over 10 partner schools and brought over 120 university students to teach English, run street law workshops and renovate schools. The programs have been a rewarding and eye-opening experience for many and built up lasting friendship between the Hong Kong and Myanmar youths.
Connecting Myanmar also organizes various fundraising events regularly to support the partner NGOs, migrant schools and local trainers.
Connecting Myanmar’s student-led Core Team is in charge of all programs. The Core Team reports to the Board of Directors on a regular basis.
Core Team Members
- Team Leader
|Justine Lam||Justine is a recent law graduate from HKU. She joined CM in 2015 as one of the volunteers in the Street Law program in Hpa-an. She has been part of the CM student team since returning from Myanmar in 2015 and is currently heading CM’s Core Team. Justine is delighted to be working with the dynamic Core Team members to create better education opportunities for the less privileged youths in Myanmar and at the Thai-Myanmar border.|
- Visting Program
|Lok Yung Au||Lok Yung is completing her PCLL studies after graduating from HKU LL.B.. She joined the Hpa-an Street Law Program and volunteered at Gateway in July 2017 for three weeks. She is now leading the Hong Kong Visiting Program, hoping to reciprocate the exchange for disadvantaged Myanmar students.|
|Christine Lo||Christine in a final year LL.B. student in CUHK. She joined the Street Law Program in 2017 as a volunteer, and taught in Yangon School of Political Science. After returning to Hong Kong, she is now coordinating the Hong Kong Visiting Program, which enables underprivileged Myanmar students to experience overseas education in Hong Kong.|
|Moe Maing||Nan Moe Moe Maing is an English Teacher at Youth Learning Center, one of the community learning centers in Hpa-an, Myanmar. She also attends the University of Distance Education Hpa-an with English specialization. She has graduated from her Diplomacy with Advanced English and Community Development in Thai-Myanmar Border in 2014. As a team member of Connecting Myanmar, she currently volunteers as a Local Coordinator.|
- Street Law Program
|Alasdair Kan||Alasdair is a PCLL student at HKU after graduating with degrees in law and engineering. He joined CM in 2017 as a volunteer in the Street Law Program held in Hpa-an. As a member of the Core Team he is in charge of the Street Law Program. He takes the lead in rejuvenating the Street Law Program.|
- Maesot Team
|Soya Liow||Soya is a final year European Studies student at HKU. She volunteered teaching English at migrants schools (Knowledge Zone and BHSOH) in Mae Sot, Thai-Myanmar border in 2017. She is in charge of the Mae Sot Program Team, evaluating the migrants community needs, planning and executing service projects to empower the migrants and Hong Kong students.|
|Kyerim Chang||Kyerim is a second year Psychology student at HKU. She volunteered teaching English at a migrant school (BHSOH) in Mae Sot, Thai-Myanmar border in 2017. She is helping with updating Connecting Myanmar’s Facebook page, helping with the Mae sot Program and video productions in the ChangeMaker Program.|
- Health Program
|Trista Li||Trista is a penultimate student in Speech and Hearing Sciences at HKU. After participating in the School Renovation Project in Mae Sot in 2017, she has joined CM as a Core Team Member. She has initiated the Health Program, coordinating with the mobile clinic to provide medical screening for disadvantaged residents on Thai-Myanmar border.|
- Public Relations Team
|Minnie Wong||Minnie is a law student at HKU. She volunteered in Hpa-An in 2015, teaching English at Education Gathering Group, and has joined the core team since then. As a Core Team Member this year, she is in charge of the Public Relations Team, helping with updating Connecting Myanmar’s Facebook page and website.|