5 August 2014
The best thing a parent can give to a child is the opportunity to get an education. Yet, many parents have to choose between sending their children to school and having them work to support their family’s income. This was a choice Daw Thin Thin Naing had to make with each of her four children. All of them, except for her youngest child, are now working out of town. The youngest, 14-year-old Thar Nyi completed only 2nd grade before being taken out of school to work in order to support his family. Although his mother, who sells produce at a local market, and her husband, U Than Htut, who works at a fish market as a daily laborer, wanted all of their children to stay in school, financial difficulties have forced them to take them out of school before they could complete their primary education.
Before joining World Vision’s MEC supported NFE center, “Htun Tauck Kaye” (Shining Star) Thar Nyi used to spend most of his time playing games with friends, catching frogs and coming home late when he wasn’t working — and the biggest issue is not saving or giving his earnings back to the parents. A few months into the NFE program, Daw Thin Thin Naing started to notice some positive changes in her son — Thar Nyi is making every attempt to attend the NFE center—sometimes even after long day of work. He is very respectful of his teachers and friends at the center. Every day, his teachers greet him with smiles and make sure his day is going well before starting the program. These days, he studies and works hard. According to his teacher at the NFE center, Thar Nyi is making new friends who are also working and studying at the same.
“I am pleased to be attending the NFE classes” says Thar Nyi. “I have a lot of friends there. I enjoy all the subjects but most of all I like mathamatics. The teachers at the centre are patient and they care about us.”
Thar Nyi is applying the math skills he has learnt in his job as a grocery store helper.
“I couldn’t read well or solve math problems correctly in the beginning” he says, “but now, I can add and subtract without making mistakes.”
Thar Nyi dreams of becoming a barber and hopes to become an apprentice at a barber’s shop one day. He says that he will not be a grocery helper for the rest of his life and hopes to make a living as a professional. Daw Thin Thin Naing couldn’t be prouderof her son; to her, he is a shining star!
Thar Nyi attends “Htun Tauck Kaye” NFE Center located in Ward 10 and he and his family live in Nyaung Tharyar quarter in Ward 10, Pathein.
This story is submitted by Saw Benjamin, Community Development Facilitator- MEC project and translated by Mya Sandi Aung, Education Program Manager, MEC Project.