Originally from Malaysia, Ms Lui moved to Myanmar when her husband was relocated to Yangon. She eventually found work as marketing consultant for City Mart Holdings and later, a digital marketing lecturer for Strategy First University.
According to Ms Lui, it all has to do with hard work, determination and common sense. When she faces the various difficulties, she says she doesn’t give up easily. Not a great believer in paper qualifications, Lui thinks it is better to put her practical experience to use in her career.
She says she is angered by the attitudes of some young people who give up to easily at work, often after blaming their bosses. “At work, if the boss doesn’t like me, I don’t care. I just do my work. When I finish work, I just home and relax. The next day, I go back to work and deal with the situation.”
She advises young people to obtain their objectives by being disciplined and committed as nothing can be achieved without the two qualities.
She says her achievements are due to a willingness to make mistakes and learn from them and to other people teaching her directly and indirectly.
“I had one boss who threw documents at me and another who pushed my computer off a table, but I endured. I never let bosses who were rude and bullying become the reason for me to leave a job. I picked up my computer, stopped myself from crying and continued working because I wanted to learn and grow,” she said.
“I got my degree in Australia on but I really think for me, paper qualifications are quite useless because the real test is in the real world. So, your boss is scolding you, your colleagues are sabotaging you – all these are real experiences. You have to learn from these things and they don’t teach you this at school”, she tells The Myanmar Times.
Soon after she first arrived in Myanmar in 2012 with her husband, they went to two orphanages and a monastery to give donations. After the initial visit, they then decided to continue donating to the organisations every month.
Even with their charitable giving, they felt they had to do more. This led to the setting up of their own centre for street children and a social enterprise built on soybean milk called Soy Ai.
“Many orphans and street children are capable. If we just give them money every month then they just become dependent. I think it is better if they learn a skill or a trade so they can eventually stand on their own feet. That’s the rationale for starting Soy Ai. Once the children are old enough, we teach them how to make soy milk and how to go about selling it. Some of the profit then comes back to the centre to help the children,” Lui said.
The centre is located at Building 2, Min Gyi Road, Yankin township and any street children can go there on the weekends. Volunteer teachers from the Myanmar Mobile Education, itself a successful child-education NGO, visit the centre to teach maths, English, art, and other subjects. Students from the university Lui teaches in, Strategy First, also volunteer to conduct weekend activities for the children at the centre.
Lui’s vision for the Soy Ai project is to help under the privileged youth who are marginalised.
“One of the biggest challenges we have is that people who work in Soy Ai, must come from under privileged or marginalised backgrounds. Sometime, the boys and the girls come and they work and then they give up because of the different challenges they face, but we want to avoid hiring people to make the social enterprise sustainable,” she said.
In 2015, Lui and her husband also started a mobile soup kitchen that prepares food for the poor and the homeless.
“My mobile soup kitchen ties back to my purpose in life to help people. Every month we set aside some money to prepare about 100 packages that contain food and drink to be given to really poor people.,” she said.
Because she has many duty and responsibilities, she wake up at 3.30am every day, except Saturday, so that she can get a head start on things. After that she heads to a gym at 5.45am because there some people who want to train with her. Since she has other responsibilities, her workouts have to start at 5.45am sharp and anyone who wants to join her can’t afford to be late.
“I think I can multi-task well. What I always tell people is to optimise their time. For example, if I go swimming for an hour, it doesn’t mean I am only swimming. During that time, I am also maybe writing a proposal in my head. When I finish, I go to work, open my computer and start on the proposal. I no longer have to spend time thinking about what to do, because I have already thought about it. That’s an example of how I optimise my time,” she said.
So always urges young people and women in Myanmar to do more and make themselves stronger.
“A lot of people tell me that they find me inspiring and then they don’t do anything about it. If you find people who are inspiring then you need to try by yourself also to do as they do. If you will not try to emulate, then you aren’t truly inspired. Some people tell me it’s because they lack the passion. It’s not about passion, it is simply whether you want to do something or not,” she said.
“You want a six pack, but If you don’t do anything then it is just a daydream. Even if you work out one week and then give up its also just a daydream. I always tell my students that it took almost five years to get my physique. Nothing worthwhile comes easily.”
At the moment, she says she hasn’t really given much thought about her future in Myanmar, but what she wants to plan right now is finding the right people to replace her.
“In Soy Ai, I have somebody who can run it. For the youth centre, somebody is already running it. I keep training new people for next generation. Are you ready to take my teaching role? For my next move, I want to make sure I have plan in place as well for all my other consultation work , for my business,
for my teaching . So I’m looking slowly at who can replace me. Now I want to look for these kind of people,” she said.
- Empowerment: Sanwo-Olu tasks women, youth
- Ghost Recon Breakpoint system requirements, settings, benchmarks, and performance analysis
- The Outer Worlds system requirements, settings, benchmarks, and performance analysis
- Control system requirements, settings, benchmarks, and performance analysis
- Borderlands 3 system requirements, settings, benchmarks, and performance analysis
- Atiku in Niger, promises women, youth employment
- One shot as Delta women, youths protest alleged invasion by 100 herdsmen
- Women Inc applaud 'pro-entrepreneurship' Budget, welcome emphasis on skilling
- Cash transfer scheme: FG disburses N62.7m to 3,829 women in Jigawa
- Arjun Kapoor turns entrepreneur, to empower women