Daw Ya Khar and her husband U Ah Thoo have never gone to school. Their entire life has been a struggle for survival. Most of the jobs they can get involve unskilled physical labor. When they have work, they work hard. When they don’t have work, which is often, they carefully use the little bit they have saved to buy food for the day, hoping to find work again before it runs out.
In a situation as uncertain as this the whole family must work together to survive. Their 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys aged 16, 11, 9, and 6, work right alongside them doing whatever can be done to earn enough to buy food. Their oldest son is now 16 and works as hard as his parents to contribute to the family income.
It seemed to Daw Ya Kar that her children were doomed to struggle through life as their parents had, with no education, no skills, and no chance of improving their life.
At the beginning to the year this family were referred to us by a local partner (Global Alms).
One of the questions our team asks when they first visit a family is what goal they hope to reach through receiving support. They immediately said that they want their children to be able to go to school, but they want to stay together as a family. (In this kind of situation there are some groups who will offer to take the children away from the home in exchange for free education, food, and housing.)
The team talked through a support plan with the family and encouraged them to save a little bit every day from their wages. The family followed the suggestion and started to save about 50-100B($1.50-$3.00USD) every time they got a job.
Daw Ya Khar told us “Before we got the support it worried me that our children were not going to school. So we were trying to find ways for them to be able to go. If they get to go to school they will have better opportunity in life than their parents. I don’t think they would enjoy doing the work that we do.”
“My children said from time to time that they wanted to go to school. When they heard their friends talk about what they learned at school they got more and more interested. Every time the school truck passed our house they wanted to get on.”
With the nutrition package we provide, though the food lasts them for only 3 days, the family was able to save 2,000B($60USD) within 4 months! That covers the education fee for 3 children which is 500B($16USD)/person and the transportation fee for the first semester (June-October). It’s the first time their children have ever gone to school!!!!
“Now I’m happy that my children can go to school. My oldest son is also happy that his younger siblings get the opportunity that he didn’t have. He works hard and does everything asked of him to support our family. I hope my children will have a better future, and I’ll do my best to support them.”
The Charis Project continues to support this family with a goal that they will be able to save for more semesters to come.
We’re looking for vocational training opportunities for the oldest son as well so that he can learn a good trade that will help him provide for his future family.
A strong family supports their children and seeks the best for their future. A strong family is able to protect their children from child labor.
Your support for families in crisis breaks the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and child labor and gives children and families a brighter, stronger future.
Help rescue a family today.
Carrien is co-founder of The Charis Project, Family Education Curriculum Developer, and mom of 6.
You can get her free mini-course on Making Your Family More Resilient here.