The joy of dreams being achieved was present in the Migrant Fishing Town of Ranong with 12 young Burmese Migrants graduating from Australian Catholic University (ACU).
Leaders already serving their community. Role models for young Burmese Migrants. An example of institutions reaching out with compassion. These were phrases shared to describe the achievements of students and the partnership between Marist Asia Foundation and ACU’s University Online Diploma Programme.
One of the Graduates Kyaw Myo Naing, sharing in front of hundreds of the Migrant Community and family and friends, asked everyone to imagine the experience of arriving at another planet.
“This is absolutely the same experience while studying at ACU Online Programme. When we entered our classroom, it was like we had arrived at a different planet because all the courses and information was so new.
As they graduated, Kyaw Myo Naing turned to his classmates and shared some personal words. Even though they had graduated with a university qualification they now still have to attend another university which is called “Life University”.
When we attend the Life University, we will be facing many difficulties and challenges. We will be solving problems without anymore the assistance of our mentors, our tutors.
So I would like to suggest that you never give up on your dreams no matter how hard the situation is, no matter how many problems you have to encounter and no matter how challenging life is. Just keep going, keep learning, and keep fighting and do all the best you can.
Professor Geraldine and Professor Duncan, on behalf of the Australian Catholic University, emphasised the importance of positive development and the challenging journey ahead for Myanmar.
They shared the pride ACU has in this Thai Burma Programme in both Ranong and in Mae Sot contributing to the development of so many young Migrants and Refugees.
As well as congratulating the graduates on their achievement special thanks was shared with parents and all those sacrificing so much to ensure a brighter future for their children.
Tutors from Marist Asia Foundation shared how much the students were enriched with international exposure and experience learning from so many different lecturers from Australia, America, and the different volunteer tutors from New Zealand and Australia.
Leading young Burmese migrants hearts and minds beyond the boundaries of their migrant fishing town of Ranong and their home of Myanmar is an extraordinary experience. International Development, Sustainable Development, Principles of Management, Youth Development are among the 8 courses done in an english and online learning environment. This truly open the students to an international environment and recognises the challenges for future development of their homeland Myanmar.
Marist Asia Foundation in partnership with ACU has now graduated 38 students with a Diploma in Arts. Two continuing signs of success of this programme is the number of graduates becoming local teachers, community development workers, health workers, and the increased number of teenage students continuing their education to gain entry to higher learning.
In May 2017, 16 students began the next group studying at ACU through the University Online and Programme. We wish them all the best for their next 20 months of study.