Professor Dr. Tin Yee – the founder of EWOB
Bio Data of Professor Tin Yee (Ph.D)
Originating from beautiful Shan hills covered with cherry blossoms in Burma, Prof. Tin Yee started her career as a Primary Teacher at the NationalChristianPrivateHigh School. She later attended the TeachersTrainingCollege (Mandalay) and became a Secondary Teacher. She pursued her Bachelor of Education, from the Institute of Education at RangoonUniversity and continued her career as a Senior Teacher at the StateHigh School. She received a Masters Degree in Education and was promoted to the position of Lecturer at the Teacher’s TrainingCollege in Rangoon. It was at this point, after more than 20 years of teaching service, that she was forced to flee her homeland in 1989 because of political turmoil in Burma.
For four years Prof. Tin Yee worked as a Program Supervisor at the Early Childhood Development Centre for four years in Singapore. She later moved to ChandrakasemRajabhatUniversity in Thailand where she taught performing arts and Burmese culture to Thai students. She became a lecturer at MennoSimonCollege at University of Winnipeg in 1998 and obtained her doctoral degree from WashingtonInternationalUniversity in 2002. Her passion for teaching compelled her to become Adjunct Professor at SimonFraserUniversity in Vancouver, Canada. Forty years of teaching experience at all levels has given her the confidence and the motivation to implement a range of education programmes and humanitarian projects. These projects are dedicated to providing educational and community economic development opportunities for refugees and Burmese youth.
Prof. Tin Yee founded Empowering Women of Burma (EWOB) in 1992, to provide economic development opportunities and to protect women from being lured into trafficking. She made her presence felt when she spoke up for the voiceless women of Burma both at the Manila Women Conference and the Vienna Human Rights Conferences in 1993. After seeking asylum in Canada in 1997, she continued to her work in the refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.
She was awarded in the YM/YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Manitoba, Canada. Prof. Tin Yee worked with community resident in Winnipeg to establish Friends of EWOB as a non-profit charitable organization in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Prof. Tin Yee’s humanitarian activities continue to focus on refugee communities. She has forged strong links with committed volunteers from Europe and U S who have traveled to Thailand to provide direct assistance to EWOB by sharing their knowledge and talents. Thai friends have been exceptional by assisting EWOB in many ways to implement their projects successfully. Their understanding and generosity have been invaluable.
Prof. Tin Yee has helped to organize a series of teacher trainings and empowered men and women in the refugee camps to enhance their skills and become leaders in their communities. She has also worked with community leaders to introduce sewing, weaving, and candle-making projects to generate much needed income for refugees. The women in particular have become more aware of their strengths and their right to participate in decision making within their communities and within their own families. Balancing gender equality and mutual respect to lessen domestic violence is a priority for Ma Tin Yee. Other priority areas include preserving the childhood of thousands of children through nursery school programs and providing women and men with vocational skills.
Prof. Tin Yee believes that having the ability to work in co-operation with others to transform ideas into reality can create a new viable future. For that we need commitment and persistence along every step to reach our goals. While keeping in mind that “the more we share, the more we gain” in all her activities she begins by taking small steps and building on the strengths of the community to generate a broad array of community based solutions to seemingly impossible problems. Her belief is that “sincerity and generosity can bring the people closer whereas jealousy will only make them cry.”
She has enriched youth by sharing her knowledge and commitment. It is her hope that these young people will play a leading role in building a brighter future for Burma. She is serving as the incumbent Director of EWOB, Thailand, and is currently promoting a university program in cooperation with ChiangMaiUniversity.
In September 2011, She was awarded in the Southeast Asia Canada Business Council “Asian-Heroes” Award in British Columbia, Canada. Prof. Tin Yee worked with community resident, and local-educators in The Metro Vancouver area, and maintain Friends of EWOB as a non-profit charitable organization in Canada.