Breadwinners of Myanmar

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Myanmar Emerges: Breadwinners from GlobalPost on Vimeo.

Children like Little King and Mya Myint Zu, form the backbone of Myanmar’s informal economy, working 15 hours a day for a paltry income of $3 to support their family.

The grip of generational poverty, an ill-equipped school system and the absence of government support programs make it difficult to curb child labour. As it stands, about a third of children in Myanmar spend their days labouring at restaurants, tea shops, factories or collecting bottles found on the side of the road.

Tuition may be waived for public schools, but there are hidden costs that discourage families from sending their children to school. The cost of sending their children to school is a choice between “going to bed hungry” or going to a school where the family is expected to contribute to the operational costs, such as donations for teachers and hydro bills.

“Not being educated is like being blind. I really want to send her to school, but I just can’t afford to,” says Zu’s grandmother in the video.

With files from The Global Post 

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