Bringing Hope to the Children of Letthamar, Myanmar - Children of the Mekong

Bringing Hope to the Children of Letthamar, Myanmar

Progress: 35%

Sponsored children: 7 of 20

child sponsorship Myanmar

 

This sponsorship programme aims to ensure all the children go to school despite the poverty of their families and the political unrest in their country. Through child sponsorship, you have the power to shed a little light on their difficult days.

Sponsor a child in Letthamar

A country devastated by civil war

Myanmar, or commonly known as Burma, is home to a rich cultural heritage but a complex socio-political landscape. Home to over 135 ethnic groups, it has been marred by decades of armed conflicts and political instability. Recently, the coup of February 2021 reversed the years of hope brought by the attempted democratic government brought in 2012. Today, the country is in a state of civil war, resulting with hundreds of thousands displaced and widespread poverty. Once a model for the rest of Asia, the education system has deteriorated, leaving many children without access to quality education.

A mother and her child at the border between Myanmar and Thailand.

Life for the families of Letthamar

a child at school to fight child labour
A family in Letthamar

Nested in the Ayeyarwady region, Letthamar is a small village, home to seventy-five households. The villagers, mainly of Karen or Burmese ethnic background suffer greatly from poverty. Most residents are day labourers in the rice fields, earning meagre wages. The economic situation, worsened by the recent political events and the pandemic, has made it difficult for families to provide even two meals a day.

Making matters worse, many children were forced to drop out of school during the two-year school closures during the pandemic and the political coup. Upon reopening, the high dropout rate continued as children struggled to reintegrate into the education system. Whilst parents are extremely keen to see their children study, most of them have to help out in the fields or stay at home due to the unaffordability of tuition.

A simple solution: Child Sponsorship

For the past few years, Sister Marie-Therese, a member of the Servite Sisters congregation, has helped the children of Letthamar access an education. She helped remove the burden of school fees off families, with the help of child sponsorship.

Child sponsorship not only helps cover the cost of tuition but also allows children to afford school supplies and uniforms. It also covers private tuition costs, essential lessons needed to pass end-of-year exams. Outside of school expenses, any remaining funds go towards helping parents afford food for their family.

Sister Marie Therese’s work doesn’t finish there. She regularly visits the families and helps them with their “economic and spiritual” growth. In doing so, she hopes that over time, the village mindset will change and that education will be seen as a means of overcoming poverty.

Recently, she also launched a project to offer short-term courses to students who have dropped out of school. These practical courses (English, sewing, IT and life skills) are held in the same convent and their purpose is to train and mentor young people before they embark on their professional work paths.

 

Thanks to your help, this programme could lift families out of poverty and given them hope of a better future.

Story of a sponsored girl

Khon Cho Thar is 11 years old. Her parents have left, and she and her younger brothers live with their grandmother. Her parents are in northern Myanmar and they send them some money monthly. However, sometimes they can’t do this and their grandmother has to find ways to feed them.

Khon Cho Thar would like to become a doctor to help the sick. She will care for the poor with love. Her hobbies are dancing and playing!

Sponsor a child like Khon Cho Thar in Letthamar

Your sponsorship

Child sponsorship is long-term support that allows your sponsored child to focus on their studies. Thanks to you, they will no longer need to toil in a rice field to make ends meet.

School dropout is a huge issue at the end of primary school and especially for girls. However, a girl at school help to reduce early marriage and child labour. An educated woman will fight for her children to get an education.

Sponsorship also makes it possible to concretely improve their life and that of their family. Your monthly support counterpart the fact that the child does not work.

Finally, even though the school is usually free in Southeast Asia, complementary courses are compulsory to be successful. Sponsoring a child will give them the chance to continue their schooling despite their underprivileged background.

Other sponsorship programmes in Myanmar

Myanmar
Progress: 35%

Sponsored children: 7 of 20

Learn more
Eugenie Munakarmi
Eugenie Munakarmi COO of the UK office - International Development Coordinator Contact