CIMF 2018 Masthead

Women at Work: Khin Nyo Nyo San

Molly McLaughlin

We all want to help others, but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start to make a difference.

However, UNICEF’s Young Ambassador Khin Nyo Nyo San has some ideas about the little things we can do to support children and young people right here in Canberra. After coming to Australia as a refugee, Khin has dedicated herself to helping others.

When Khin’s family fled from political crisis in Myanmar they sought shelter in Thailand, where she was born, and when Khin was four-years-old her family moved to Australia. Her current position as one of UNICEF’s Young Ambassadors for 2016 allows her to advocate for children around the world, and she’s making the most of it.

“Because of my experience as a refugee, I was always interested in humanitarian work which is why early on I got involved with volunteering,” says Khin. “I also wanted to help out with social programs for newly arrived refugees because I knew those kind of things really helped.”

Khin recently graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Advertising and Marketing Communications and a Bachelor of Laws and is now studying a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. She works as a childhood educator and in her spare time she volunteers with the Red Cross.

Her work as an out of school hours care educator started as a casual job while she was at university, but quickly became her passion.

“Working with children turned out to be something I actually love doing,” Khin says. “My favourite part is being able to relax and play with them. I love seeing how they grow up and the fact that I played a big part in their development and learning.”

With a resume like that, it’s no wonder Khin was selected as a UNICEF Young Ambassador after applying online last year. Her position combines her love for children, education and giving back.

“A Young Ambassador advocates for children’s rights by upholding the Convention on the Rights of a Child,” she explains. “What we’ve been doing so far is going to schools and talking to children. We hold workshops and ask them what changes they’d like to see in their world and what they would want to keep them happy. Most of the time they just really enjoy playing, any time they’re able to play with their friends, that’s what’s important to them.”

According to Khin, the UNICEF Young Ambassadors have a simple message: that children’s voices deserve to be heard, both in Australia and around the world.

“We as adults should let children have that voice and listen to them,” she says. “I’d like for everyone to know that children have their own rights to make decisions and speak out about what they want to see happen around them, no matter what circumstances they’re in.”

Image via UNICEF


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin is new to Canberra and is attempting to prove to her friends that the capital city can be cool. This mostly involves frequently going out for brunch and then posting about it on social media, along with trekking up hills and around art galleries. She is half way through her uni degree but spends most of her time reading, writing and planning her next adventure. More about the Author