Nan was born in Shan State of Myanmar where civil war has been going on for almost six decades. Having seen many of her age-mates working as domestic workers instead of having a chance to go to school, and having witnessed that many people have died of preventable and curable diseases, she is very committed to a vision of education and health for all.
Over the past ten years, Nan has been working to promote basic education and primary healthcare for marginalized groups – Shan unrecognized refugees and displaced people – in Myanmar. As a person who strongly believes that education is a fundamental human right, she worked for Shan Education Committee (SEC) as an education program coordinator. During her time at SEC, she provided primary education for 1,250 Shan displaced children who live in five camps at Thai-Myanmar border. When she joined Shan State Development Foundation (SSDF) as a health program coordinator, she increased access to primary healthcare services for over 6,000 Shan unrecognized refugee populations who are living in the camps at Thailand-Myanmar border through providing in-patient, out-patient medical services, maternal and child healthcare, vaccination and nutrition for children, and health education. She also managed a prosthetic workshop for hundreds of landmine survivors in order to enhance their access to health care and rehabilitation. To ensure that the landmine victims had sustainable livelihoods, she ran a microcredit program for the victims and their families.
During her time at Duke, Nan continued to work for marginalized and under-represented people by working for UNFPA for her summer internship as a Monitoring and Evaluation intern in their New York office. Nan worked on data pertaining to UNFPA’s work in Myanmar and Bangladesh, helping to advance access to basic reproductive health services for women and girls in Asia. Nan’s primary responsibilities at UNFPA included research in the areas of Impact Evaluation, Evaluation of Efficiency Criteria, Identification and Evaluation of Vulnerable Groups, Integration of Culture, Gender, and Human Rights approach to Programming and to Evaluation, and Sustainability to Programming and Evaluation. Nan wrote her Master’s Thesis on vulnerable Shan children in Myanmar.