Prospect Burma

 Location: Burma

Subject: Development

Dates: 1992, 2012

Related ACE Cultural Tours:

Mission/Vision

Supporting educational projects for exiled Burmese of all ethnic groups.

Project History

In the summer of 1988 many Burmese civilians took part in mass demonstrations against the one-party system. They favoured a democratic system but were brutally put down by the government and thousands were killed while many more went into exile. The military government took over control of the universities, where many of the demonstrators had come from, repressing the system and therefore depriving generations of Burmese of an education. In reaction to this suppression Prospect Burma was established in 1990. The founding executive director was Evelyn Aris, the mother-in-law of Aung San Suu Kyi, the human-rights activist and campaigner for democracy, who since 1989 has been under house arrest by the ruling military junta. One of the first objectives for the trust was to support the education of the thousands of exiled Burmese living in refugee camps on the Thai side of the border. It was soon established, though discussions in the filed, that the most effective way to do this was through teacher training courses, enabling the Burmese to better help themeselves. The first teacher training camps were established in 1991. Unfortunately, in 1995 the security situation along the border deteriorated to such an extent that work in the region became unduly difficult and dangerous. As a result, Prospect Burma launched a scholarship scheme to enable Burmese students to attend universities in the safety of other countries.

Project & ACE

On one of the ACE Cultural Tours participants experienced first hand the unrest in the area and felt a valuable contribution could be made. By 2000 a scholarship scheme was in full swing one of which was based at the prestigious Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok and ACE funded its first two students, Miss Kyawt Yin Win, to study a Masters degree in engineering, and Mr Myo Min Cho, to study a Masters in waste water management. ACE continues to support Prospect Burma, which now offers scholarships to over 200 students every year, providing hope and much needed skills for the future regeneration of Burma.

The organisation regularly hold book auctions as fundraising events which we encourage our readers and participants to look out for. See Prospect Burma’s website for further details: Prosepect Burma site.