Tin Tin Htwe, known to most as Nui, migrated from Myanmar in 2004. Her family worked in the agricultural sector. Though her parents never came to Thailand to find a job, three of six of Nui’s siblings are currently working in Bangkok.
Nui went to school until the fourth grade, then illegally escaped into Thailand when she was 15 years old. Her first job was as a housemaid. Not being able to speak Thai, she was let go three months after she started and never got paid.
Luckily, Nui found a job at a beauty salon which she still works at. She started with cleaning tasks and worked at developing her skills. Currently, she is a professional in manicures, eyelash extension, and eyebrow waxing. From this job, she earns 13,000 THB in the form of a salary and approximately 20,000 THB from 10% commission.
Despite these earnings, this amount is still not enough for her monthly expenses. She is currently taking care of two children after separating from her husband a year ago.
She dreams of having her own house and a small restaurant that sells Thai food in her hometown. However, age is her biggest obstacle in reaching that dream: “as I get older, my eyes wear out. Then I won’t be able to do eyelash jobs anymore. I earn a lot from it because it’s expensive.” Eyelash extensions give her more money than other beauty services because it is delicate work and requires a meticulous and professional worker.
Without money, her dreams can not be reached. The idea of working abroad emerged when she saw her friend (who is married to an Australian) open a beauty business in Australia. “I want to work in Australia and bring my kids there. I would get more money and my kids would grow up in a good environment,” Nui said with hope.
Nui has completed Better Me programs such as “How to Start Planning” and “Managing Change.” She is currently attending the six-month program and has started her initial induction session, mentoring session and weekly English classes.
“I will not only use this new knowledge to develop myself but I will teach it to my kids.”Nui
After attending the Better Me program, Nui has become a new person. She now has her own dreams. Nui intends to take care of her health and save up for her happiness. Because of the “Thinking about the Future” workshop, she now has plans to start building a house in Myawaddy city when she has 200,000 THB. There, her children would be able to get a good education, her parents could grow and sell products, and Nui could run a restaurant. More importantly, everyone would be together.