The root of my success and my confidence is education, and I owe it all to my father. My father believed that education would bring economic prosperity and a better understanding of world affairs. In order to ensure his children had access to education, my father decided to emigrate from Burma to the US, and he faced many hardships by starting over his life in a new country and new culture in his mid-forties. As fate would later show, that single decision changed the course of my life.
In 1988, right in the middle of my most critical formative years, the military government of Burma closed all schools and universities to control the 8888 Uprising and crushed the voice of opposition. Had we stayed in Burma, access to education would have ended for me.
Just as my father played a huge role in my education, my goal has been to pay forward to the next generation what I have learned. I co-founded Jezuba as a way to mentor the next generation, and as a working mother of two daughters, I have learned that I cannot get everything done by myself. My husband is the central figure in my daughters’ education. From actively discussing their school projects to planning out their course load, my husband patiently and actively guides my daughters’ education.
For my daughters, my influence, as their mother, is essential, but it is their father’s influence that continues to inspire and provide guidance and engagement. Just as my father was a key figure in my life, I see the same as true for my daughters and their dad.
It takes a village to raise a child, and fathers are essential voices in that village. For this Father’s Day, let’s celebrate and thank our dads for their sacrifice, encouragement, and empowerment.
Co-founder and Director, Jezuba