Returning Home to Myanmar With Her Skills… and Her Husband!


Couple in front of mountain view

Kinsa Maw-Naing is excited at the opportunity to volunteer in her home country of Myanmar. Interestingly, the idea of volunteering overseas didn’t come to her first; it came to her husband, Tha, who is an electrical engineer. With Myanmar opening its doors to the world, they were aware of the need for technology that countries like Canada have relied upon for decades to be more present in their home country.

Now in their 60s they moved to Canada from Myanmar 30 years ago. For the past 20 years, Kinsa has worked for the Ontario Provincial Government’s Local Health Integration Network in North Simcoe – Muskoka. After her retirement from her job as a Senior Financial Advisor she moved back to Toronto with her husband.

Until four years ago, she had only been back to Myanmar once for a brief period, but recently she and her husband started going back regularly. While there, they could see the changes that were taking place in Myanmar, “It was opening up to the world,” says Kinsa.

Then one fateful day she met Mark McDowell, who was the first resident Ambassador of Canada to Myanmar, at an event at a Burmese monastery in Toronto. He talked to Kinsa about her skills and how the people of Myanmar were looking for people with knowledge in financial systems and that she should look at opportunities with Cuso International. She did so at the end of December and now is set to arrive in Naypyidaw at the beginning of June with her husband and work for one year as a Financial Management Officer with Myanmar’s Department of Rural Development.

She hasn’t worked in Myanmar for over 30 years and is excited to return home with the skills and knowledge she has gained in Canada. “The excitement is bringing my skills back,” says Kinsa. “I want to give back to the country that educated me.”

The way that she’s mostly looking to do this is by offering her expertise in financial management, but also through teaching people about other things through her position. She says she wants to do three things: show how government budgets work in other countries, teach basic computer literacy and teach business English. Being there for a year, she should have lots of time to do all those things. As for Tha, he is looking to take on a placement of his own with Cuso International in Myanmar, so they can volunteer together.

Kinsa is raising $2000 to support Cuso International so that more volunteers can have an experience like the one she’s embarking on. You can learn more and help her achieve her goal by making a donation on her fundraising page today.