SURVIVING THE STREETS
As the global pandemic hit Myanmar, conditions for Thandar and her family went from bad to worse. Thandar’s father was out of a job. On good days they ate porridge. On bad days, they ate nothing. The health of Thandar’s mother worsened and her father had to mortgage his trishaw to raise money and keep the medicine flowing. “There was no more money for rent,” recalls Thandar sadly.
“I felt so sad. We had nothing to eat and my mother was sick. I did not know what to do.” Faced with a worsening situation, Thandar took a risky gamble. “I sneaked out with my sister and without my parents’ knowledge, we begged for money under the hot sun. I was shy asking for money but we needed it.” It was a heartbreaking situation for any child to face, but Thandar’s desperate action would set off an unexpected chain of events.
When Thandar and her sister were spotted on the streets, their plight was reported to World Vision. Acting quickly, World Vision staff, volunteers and representatives from the authorities visited Thandar’s house and provided them with desperately-needed food. “We got rice, beans, eggs, dry fish, potatoes, onions, garlic and oil,” said Thandar happily.
Seeing that the family still needed income, a World Vision manager helped Thandar’s father get the trishaw back by paying the mortgage on it out of her own pocket. With renewed hope, Thandar’s father was soon back to work, making 2,500 Myanmar Kyats (RM7.63) a day. A community-based organisation helped pay the family’s rent of 15,000 Kyats (RM45.80) a month and offered them a repayment plan.