Dr. Cynthia Maung Named Finalist for Humanitarian Award

By Naing Swann 31 October 2016

RANGOON — The founder of a clinic for Burmese refugees on the Thai border Dr. Cynthia Maung was named a finalist for the Humanitarian Hero Award 2016 by AidEx, an international platform for professionals in aid and development.

The award will be presented on Nov. 16 at AidEx’s annual exhibition and conference in the Belgian city of Brussels.

The three other finalists are Jaha Dukureh, who campaigns against female genital mutilation, Dr. Martin Fisher, who founded a nonprofit social enterprise in Kenya, and Shaima Al Zarooni, who founded a public benefit corporation in the United States.

After the 1988 pro-democracy demonstrations in Burma, Dr. Cynthia Maung left Karen State and opened a clinic across the Thai-Burma border in a rudimentary building with a dirt floor.

Today the doctor’s Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot boasts a staff of 700 and 140,000 patient visits per year.

Also known as the students’ clinic, it assists Burmese refugees and migrant workers with landmine injuries, maternity care and HIV counseling among others.

Dr. Cynthia Maung also operates a free school for children of Burmese migrant workers in Mae Sot.

She is the recipient of about 20 international awards, including the Sydney Peace Prize, the Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award, and the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

The public can vote for the award winner here.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.