Hni Hni Htun was 5 and half months pregnant with her first baby when her husband died in a motorcycle accident. She had only been in Mae Sot for 9 months and didn’t know very many people. She was isolated from her family. Due to the pandemic and border crossing restrictions her mother would not be able to come and help her when she had her baby.
She was alone, with no income, expecting a child, and facing the challenges of supporting herself and her baby as a single mother. She had no employment beyond babysitting her neighbor’s daughter.
A local community organization referred her to us in her 7th month of pregnancy. She had lost a lot of weight due to grieving as well as not having any money. But her Muslim neighbors, though not people she had known for a long time, had been kind and generous to her, sharing their rice and food with her on their rest day.
Our team visited her every week, bringing food and friendship, helping her to feel less alone and prepare for her baby’s birth, and life after. She started to feel encouraged and made sure she was eating enough for the baby’s health.
She found that people in her life cared about her and were willing to help. Her nieces, who are working in Malaysia, sent her a little bit of money to help her pay her rent (~100USD), and said they would send more as they were able.
When the time came for her baby to be born Hni Hni Tun felt prepared and strong. Her baby boy was born healthy and has given her so much joy.
Her neighbor helped her after she came home from the clinic, so that she wasn’t all by herself with a newborn while recovering from childbirth. This was a gift to Hni Hni Tun because her mother wasn’t able to come and help her with those things, as is traditional in Burmese culture. She cried as she told us about how her neighbor felt like a sister to her in the way she took care of her.
We helped her to establish breastfeeding with her baby and saw that she had a good support network, both local and from extended family that would help this new mother to be strong and raise her child.
Your support was part of the network of care that wove around this woman to support her in her grief and loneliness and help her to welcome her baby and find strength as a new mother. You helped this baby bay have a strong healthy start.
Thank you for reaching out to rescue families in crisis.