hilaing11.pngHlaing Yu Aung is a native of Myanmar’s former capital, Yangon. Despite being a single child, life was not easy due to severe financial problems. Knowing her family’s living situation, she looked to education as the key to a better life. Yangon is a culturally diverse city, some say that this creates more difficulties for those seeking employment as many of the ethnicities are seemingly closed communities, but Yu Aung took advantage of the community’s cultural variety and learned English, as well as Italian in addition to her regular studies. This extra effort got her excellent part-time jobs to help her continue her education. This young woman’s hard work, attitude and commitment allowed her to support her single mother who suffered serious health problems. Through perseverance, she was able to finish a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Now a young adult, Yu Aung looks back at this time in her life with fondness because she “did a lot of growing up then”, and it has inspired her to want to pass on this learning experience to the youth of her country. She is starting a foundation that supports children’s education for the those in need, in the hopes of raising their literacy rate. The socio-political situation in Myanmar that has upset the community’s morale has deeply inspired her to pursue human rights education of which she is currently finishing her master’s degree in Mahidol University in Salaya, Thailand.