Who we are
Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung
Co-founder and President
Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung, Chair and Professor of Political Science Department at UMass Lowell, co-founded the organization and has served as SayDaNar President since the organization’s inception. In addition to being responsible for running the organization, Ardeth also supervises the afterschool program which she started since 2012 to assist children of new immigrants and refugees with their homework. Today, the afterschool program continues to serve 25-30 students of Myanmar origin who are attending Lowell public schools. Ardeth’s main passion has been to promote self-supported Burmese community organization and members with a strong sense of commitment to give back to the host society. Today, SayDaNar is 100% self-supported, relying on active contribution and participation of its members.
Apollos Shwe Ba
Executive Director and Community leader
Apollos has been involved with the organization since he came from Myanmar in 2013. He started out as a volunteer for the after-school program and became more involved and later was appointed as the Executive Director in 2016. His main responsibilities include helping the Burmese community with interpreting letters, applying for Electric/Gas, internet, accompanying the community members as an interpreter for medical appointments, and representing the Burmese community in Lowell. He graduated from UMass Lowell with bachelor’s degree in IT in 2019 and now pursuing Masters in IT at Southern New Hampshire University. His goal and passion are “to make the Burmese community independent and self-sufficient” while pursuing his career in IT.
Abdul Karim Kasim
Community leader and Volunteer
Abdul immigrated from Myanmar through Malaysia as a refugee in 2011 and has been working as a stitcher at South Wick factory store since he first came to America. He became a US citizen in 2017 and also one of the few Burmese in Lowell to become a homeowner through the Habitat for Humanity. Abdul is a father of three and a very committed and involved community member. He has actively involved with Saydanar events and fundraisers since he came to Lowell. Abdul has a strong sense of duty and commitment to make the community organization fun and engaging so that everyone feels welcome to participate in Saydanar events.
Tha Taw Moo
Community Leader and Volunteer
Tha came to Lowell as a refugee from Thai refugee camp in the summer of 2011 with his wife and two kids. He has been working at the South Wick factory store since he arrived. He passed the citizenship exam in 2017 and his next big goal is to become a homeowner. Tha is also one of the key pillars who helps Saydanar grow and sustain as an organization. He also serves as a deacon at a Burmese church, Lowell International Church. He plays guitar at his church and is very well known in the community as the go-to guy for help with events because of his talents in arts, decoration, and attention to details. Tha is highly respected in the community as a very caring, dedicated and committed, and generous person.
Community leader and Volunteer
Soe came to America as a Burmese refugee from Thai refugee camp in early 2010 and settled in Lowell until 2015 when they bought a home in Dracut. She has worked at South Wick Factory Store as a stitcher since she came to America and despite being the mother of two girls, she still finds time to contribute to the community. Soe became a citizen in 2016. Soe is famous for her signature dish Tofu salad which is a popular dish sold by Saydanar during Folk festival in Lowell.