iLEAP International Fellow, 2016
Dau Nyoi, who grew up in a Kachin family in rural Myanmar first went to Yangon, the capital city of Myanmar, at age 18 to study. That experience with urban life caused her to reflect on the struggles of rural people and she gained a better understanding of life in remote communities in Kachin State.
When she returned to her home town after her studies, she took a grassroots leadership training course and charted a path that would eventually lead her to become the director of Sha-it Social Development Foundation. She helped numerous grassroots work collectively to improve life for people in their own region, and she became the lead coordinator and developed more than four local organizations.
In her current role, she wants to help rural organizations gain power to influence the national policies that affect them. Her vision is that communities “are equipped with knowledge about democracy and (involved) in building a democratic society (so that they) become more responsible and accountable.” To do this, she needs to build an organization with a strong management team and operations. As an iLEAP Fellow, she will be able to learn how other leaders around the world face and overcome similar challenges.