The Phan Foundation is pleased to announce that the winner of 2015 Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader Award is Sa Shine, a community worker in Hpa-an, the capital of Karen State in Burma/Myanmar.
Every year, The Phan Foundation honours an outstanding young leader with a certificate of recognition and $2000 grant, to recognise their contribution to the community and provide practical support for their work.
Sa Shine, co-founder of the Youth Network (Hpa-an), has initiated several social and educational programs, including the Tounge La Yat Academy, a community-based post high school education program of the Education Gathering Group, and the Youth Learning Center, to create opportunities for youth employment, internship and further education for young people in the area. He also set up Youth Community Café to create space for youth and other local people to work together. Born and raised in Hpa-an, after obtained a Bachelor degree in Architecture in Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand, he went back to his home town and got involved with the community as a very active youth leader.
In 2013, Sa Shine joined Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) as Project Manager for Capacity Building. He has organised many capacity building trainings, workshops, public events, talks, exposure trips and other social activities in Karen State. As a result of Sa Shine’s hard work, many young Karen people now have access to further education and employment opportunity, for example 12 students received a scholarship to study in universities and schools. Some of them are now leading social development programs of their respective fields and are contributing back to their own communities.
“I would like to thank the children of Mahn Sha for giving me the Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader award,” said Sa Shine, the winner of 2015 Padoh Mahn Sha Young Leader award. “I can still see Tee Mahn Sha sitting in the chair and encouraging us during Karen University Students Group’s conference. He would like to see us becoming educated leaders with love for our people. This award is dedicated to all young Karen leaders who realise the vision of Tee Mahn Sha and become the change makers. I am thrilled to be part of it. I would like to take this opportunity to inspire the rest of our young Karen people and they are all the children of our great Leader, Mahn Sha Lah Phan.”
“Sa Shine works hard to inspire those around him through action. He is a truly outstanding youth making a huge difference to society every day”, said Nan Aye Aye Thwe, a community leader who nominated Sa Shine for the award. “As a role model and a mentor for youths, he always tries to create and find learning opportunities for youths to grow and contribute back to their community development. He wishes to see that youths of diverse background work together, respects each other’s values, and preserve their cultures and natural environment.”
“The Phan Foundation is very proud to be able to present Sa Shine with Padoh Mahn Sha Young leader award. He is indeed a very exceptional young leader with ability and skill to successfully support his community,” said Saw Say Say Phan, the eldest son of Padoh Mahn Sha. Saw Say Say Phan will present the award at the commemoration of Karen Martyrs day in Hpa-an District on 12th August 2016.
Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan was assassinated by agents of the Burmese dictatorship on 14 February 2008. In memory of Padoh Mahn Sha and his wife Nant Kyin Shwe, their four children established the Phan Foundation with the aims to support the Karen people such as poverty alleviation, education and human right promotion and culture preservation.