11-year-old Myint Myat is now studying in Grade-4. His elder sister, Watan Oo (18) passed the matriculation exam. His sister used to be a sponsored child of World Vision. Their mother, Yin Yin, is a single mother and fulfills all of the two siblings’ needs. They live in Thanpyuzayat Township, Mon State.
Myint Myat loves to make up things in his mind and dreams of becoming an artist. His mom loves to support his dream although she wants her son to become an engineer when he grows up. His sister has a love for different languages and wishes to learn and speak Korean and English fluently to get better job opportunities.
When his father passed away, Myint Myat was just nine years old. Since then, his mother has struggled to support her children, to feed and send them to school, by opening a tiny snack shop at a primary school. However, the income was insufficient to cover the costs of school uniforms, stationery, and nutrition for Myit Myat and his sister.
Things have changed since his mom started receiving financial support from VisionFund Myanmar (VFM). With her first loan, she expanded her shop to a home grocery shop by adding more goods and a manual ice shaver machine. At the same time, she continues her school snack shop when the school is open. She knew about VFM through her neighbors, and it was also her first time receiving financial support from an MFI. With this financial support, her business started blooming and her income increased to 80,000 MMK (US$ 43) from 20,000 MMK (US$ 10) per day.
His mother described her struggle about her business, "Customers came to my shop, but I didn’t have what they asked and wanted because of no capital. So, they went to other shops."
Myit Myat and his sister are not only hardworking children when it came to their school lessons but also helpful children to their mother at home. Myit Myat helps his mom by feeding the pigs from which they get extra income and by cycling to the market to buy what his mom asks for. His mother bought him that bicycle for him to commute to school. His sister helps by looking after the shop when his mom is not in the shop or busy.
When the pandemic hit in the village, their mother was tested positive for COVID-19. She went to the clinic, received proper treatment and recovered in a few days. As a result of her resilience, although the income decreased due to low demand in the shop, she still earned for her family's living. She said, "I managed so hard to continue my business throughout these challenges because I have my son and daughter to feed and take care of. I cannot let myself fall down."
It has been almost three years that this family partners with VFM. Their mother is currently in her third loan cycle and received totally loan of 2,500,000 MMK (US$ 1,351) from VFM since the first time. Now, Myit Myat can go to school in tidy and clean uniforms, with enough stationary, and by bicycle. After the class, he goes to tuition to study his lessons. His sister is taking computer lessons while waiting to go to university. Besides this, their house has improved from a one-story wooden house to a two-story one by rebuilding the ground floor with brick including a new concrete toilet. On the ground floor, they have opened a mini market. Moreover, as a mother with a strong and beautiful soul, she saves a part of her income to donate to church, and a handful of rice every day to share with those who are having more difficulties than her.
Myint Myat said that he always includes his mom in his prayers to God, for her health and that she would get what she wishes to have.
I’m happy because my mom can now buy everything I want and I can play with my friends.