Aung Myo Hein 1  

Aung Myo Hein


Chulalongkorn University

MA in International Development

Class of 2011


Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime

This Chinese proverb describes the importance of empowering needy people to achieve long term well being. This proverb also has been used in many critical studies, important occasions and teachings to highlight the importance of empowerment, education and sustainability and this is exactly what the Hinrich Foundation is doing for me.

Yes, I am a “needy man”, who needs to fulfill his responsibilities to dedicate himself to the development of my family, society and country. My country Myanmar has been isolated from the international community from for decades; the people including the younger generations of the society have been distant from a vibrant changing global community. But with the recent dramatic political changes, there has been more cooperation and integration with its neighbors and global community. In this important transition process of the country, there is a large in need of capable young people who will help re-position the country to the international arena and bring the benefits to its needy society.

Fortunately, the Hinirich Foundation is filling this gap by allowing to me attain my Master of Arts in International Development Studies at Chulalornkorn University which is the most prestigious University of Thailand. The one year intensive program includes rigorous work studies, international field trip to understand the development process of Vietnam, an internship at intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, and undertaking a complicated thesis which grants me with more knowledge, skills and competences to facilitate development for my country.

Of course, it is always wonderful to hear the stories of the scholarship students and seeing the photos of their graduation but we have to admit that earning a master degree is not as easy as taking a photo. I would like to thank Program Director Alex Boome and Education and Training coordinator Mai who have been helped me and given me advice through father-son, sister-brother relationships.

After a year of study, I have become more appreciative of the Hinrich foundation’s motto “Promoting Sustainable trade” which is “teaching people how to fish.” No development can be achieved in isolation and people need to be more empowered and engaged in order to justify their pathway to achieve their development. So I appreciate the HF work on “teaching how to fish” in this globalize world through 1) research and advocating key stakeholders to create equal level fishing ground for every one 2) empower people to be more skillful fishers instead of giving them fish every day 3) showing the good fishing practices to the other fellows.