ActionAid in Burma: Child Sponsorship Week

A room without a view

Daw Khin Mar Lwin is 43 years old and she has three children who live in Htan Taw Village in the Dry Zone in Burma/Myanmar. Hlaing Hlaing Wai, seven, Khin Mar Hlaing , five and Thin Thin Hlaing who’s just three months old.

Daw Khin Mar Lwin (43) sits with her baby Thin Thin Hlaing (3 months)
at her temporary home in Htan Taw village on September 12, 2012.

Khin Mar Lwin lives with her three children in the roof of a small thatched building that’s next to her brother’s house. It’s tiny and dark and as it’s actually the kitchen it – unsurprisingly – smells of smoke.

Khin Mar Lwin is living on borrowed time in her little corner she calls home, because property is inherited through the male line. So when her parents died the house became her sibling’s and she’s simply a guest.

Although he’s been fair up until this point, now he’s getting married she knows there won’t be enough room and she’ll essentially become homeless.

Khin Mar Lwin was extremely dignified as she told her story and when asked what could be done about it she said that ‘She didn’t dare to think about help’.

Daw Khin Mar Lwin (43) prepares her daughters Khin Mar Hlaing (5) and Hlaing Hlaing Wai (7) for school at their temporary home in Htan Taw village on September 12, 2012

Her main concern was getting enough food for her children so they can carry on going to school – above any of her own needs. The food she had she gave to her two daughters and it was just rice and tiny beans. She was still breastfeeding her baby, but on her limited diet (vegetables are too expensive) this is a struggle.

Khin Mar Hlaing (5) takes a nap at school
in Htan Taw village on September 12, 2012.

Her older girls are in school but are often exhausted when they attend. It’s just a very basic building with five grades crammed including a kindergarten, too. It is extremely noisy so while they are being taught all the age groups are competing to hear each other and their teachers. These children are so keen to attend though and you can see in their faces how much they love learning! Even if, like with Kyin Mar Hlaing, it can sometimes mean the younger ones end up snoozing in class… literally mid-sentence!

Child sponsorship is available in Burma/Myanmar for the first time. For information on how to get involved and transform a child’s life visit

In the video below, Burmese children at the Htan Taw Village School (No 219) drawing about their lives for children in the UK and saying thank you!

ActionAid Blogger's children in the UK have drawn pictures depicting their lives for kids in Burma (Myanmar) who need to be sponsored.

ActionAid is asking people across the UK to celebrate Child Sponsorship Week and make a huge change to all the people who have endured decades of struggle and uncertainty in Burma/Myanmar and elsewhere in the developing world.

For just 50p a day sponsors have the opportunity to change a child’s and community’s future not just for today but forever. For information on how to get involved and transform a child’s life visit

There are 1600 children in Burma to sponsor but worldwide there are 5000 children that need sponsorship in 17 countries.*

*The amount of countries that ActionAid sponsor in constantly changes as new need is identified and projects are authorised.

And don't forget to enter our competitions!