In Myanmar, Pyae Sone Kyaw, 13, works as a dried fish seller, yet he still pursues an education.
Jumping out of bed at 6 a.m., Pyae Sone Kyaw left his tiny house in a Myanmar slum to catch the early bus. He wasn’t going to school, but to Yangon City to work for any market vendor who would hire him for the day.
When the market closed at 7 at night, he looked for items he could recycle for cash – things like bottles, cans, and cardboard.
With often meager earnings in hand, he headed home around 9 p.m.
“I’ve finished grade 4,” Pyae says. “When my father died, … I wanted to go to school like my friends, but I needed to help my mother.”
Pyae’s mother has HIV that she contracted from her husband before he died, leaving his son as the sole breadwinner in his family.
Children who work like Pyae face a host of protection issues in the workplace. Many jobs are physically dangerous for kids, and others put them at risk for trafficking.
In Pyae’s case, World Vision helped him work in the morning for a florist so he can receive nonformal education at a drop-in center before going to a second job selling salted fish until 5 p.m. The shop owner sometimes gives Pyae extra money for his hard work or some leftover fish, which Pyae’s mom can sell to earn more money for the family.
Please pray for all the children who must sacrifice their long-term wellbeing to help support their families.
Photo©2012 Khaing Min Htoo/World Vision