Class XIV (2016-2017)

4. KYASINGMONG MARMA

Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Akron Ohio, USA, District 6630 

Host Club: Rotary Club of Aspley Aspley, AUS, District 9600 

Kyasingmong (Mong) is from the remote village of ‘Dongnala’ Bangladesh. He belongs to the ‘Marma’ indigenous community, one of the indigenous peoples collectively known as ‘Jummas’ who have been struggling for their rights and identities against the majority Bengali dominant government. While studying at the University of Dhaka, he was involved in indigenous students’ movement to protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples and protest against military atrocities. In 2007, he received an AusAID scholarship for his bachelor’s degree in Legal and Justice Studies at Southern Cross University of Lismore, NSW. After graduating, he began working with Peace Brigades International in Nepal as a Human Rights Field Officer. He provided protective accompaniment to at-risk human rights lawyers and defenders. After working in Nepal, he joined the Nonviolent Peaceforce in Mindanao, in the Philippines, as an International Civilian Protection Monitor, where his major responsibilities consisted of monitoring, verification and reporting on ceasefire-related violence between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and protecting civilians during violent conflicts. Mong then joined the Indigenous Peoples Organization based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as a Human Rights and Policy Advocacy Officer. He conducted advocacy work on the issues concerning indigenous peoples’ lives and livelihoods at various regional and international forums including ASEAN and the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Geneva, Switzerland, finishing this work at the end of 2015. He is looking forward to developing research skills in the field of conflict resolution in order to apply them to future work on issues related to.