Six years after her sponsorship ended, a former sponsored child from Myanmar starts her own business!  - Children of the Mekong

Six years after her sponsorship ended, a former sponsored child from Myanmar starts her own business! 

A workshop from Mary’s Outfit!

Ma Thizar Moe now prefers to be called Mary. That is the name this former sponsored child has given her clothing brand, Mary’s outfit, which is going viral on Facebook in Myanmar. We met her in Myanmar, six years after her sponsorship ended. She is a generous and bubbly young woman who was happy to gift us some of the most beautiful pieces in her current collection! 


Mary comes from Kachin State, where she spent her childhood with her family in modest circumstances. Her father works in an electronics shop and her mother is a housewife. She is the second of four children and all six live in a house made of bamboo and wood. 

Mary is naturally bubbly and cheerful. Motivated and bright, she was determined from an early age to go as far as she could in her studies. At the age of 20, her parents agreed to let her go to Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, and to help her financially with her studies despite the sacrifice it represented for them. It was at this point that her sponsorship adventure began, with a sponsor who would support and encourage her until the end of her studies. 

Ma Thizar Moe with her family at the start of her sponsorship!


At the age of 22, Mary graduated from Mandalay University with a Master’s Degree in Physics and Nuclear Energy. That is great, very good indeed, but not enough for the young girl who dreamed of continuing on to a Masters of Research to become a physics teacher. It is an ambitious programme that will involve 6 more years of study, ideally abroad, as it is difficult to plan such a project at her university in Mandalay. In the meantime, and to put all the odds in her favour, Mary wanted to take intensive English courses to improve her English and ensure her chances of being accepted by a foreign university. 

In the end, her plans to study abroad fell through: too expensive, too many risks. Mary preferred to try her luck in the hotel business, as a hotel chain offered her a place on a management training course with a possible job offer at the end. The sponsorship came to an end, and Mary was going to take her chances with the impressive experience she had already acquired. 



It was during covid that Mary came up with the idea of launching her own clothing brand, at a time when tourism was at a standstill. Mary has an entrepreneurial spirit and a penchant for the world of fashion. During her Masters, she even won a ‘Miss University’ competition for the North Myanmar region. This was a major accolade, as the competition requires careful preparation in order to represent the university, and the prizes are substantial. In May 2021, Mary launched her first collection. It was quickly a success, and orders soon began to pour in. 

While Mary’s Outfits is aimed at a wealthier audience in Myanmar, with clothes that are “local, made in Myanmar and made from high-quality fabrics,” the other side shows the importance she gives to the social impact of her business. In the same way that she helped the sisters of the Good Shepherd congregation to teach children on the streets during her university holidays, it was only natural for her to decide to employ young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to work with her in her small flat in Mandalay. 

Mary’s atypical profile is a reminder that “poor and suffering children can be models of responsibility for their country.” We hope that her success, driven by her abundant energy and great confidence in the future, will serve as an inspiration for the younger generations in Myanmar… and everywhere else! 

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