When the day dawns, 13-year-old Bote Son
is the first in her family to awake. She is up and about, getting ready for
Education has always been important to her, Bote Son (pictured above) says. “My greatest desire is to learn and to be educated,” she says.
The teen, who has a disability that makes it difficult for her to walk and use her hands, gets to school in a wheelchair. She started school for the first time two years ago when ChildFund Myanmar began running non-formal education classes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Yangon,
This program is supported by the Australian Government through
the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
Over the past couple of years, Bote Son
has learnt to read and write for the first time in her life. She is also
learning maths, Burmese and English.
She is an enthusiastic student, says her teacher Thida. “Bote Son tries hard. She is the most active student in my class and she has never missed a day of school.”
Bote Son’s mother Kyi says she has always wanted her daughter to go to school, but the limited opportunities for children with disability in government-run schools in Myanmar has meant it has been impossible to enrol Bote Son into the formal education system.
Private schools have been out of the question because she and her husband cannot afford to pay the fees. Kyi makes and sells brooms, while her husband is a taxi driver; their income is irregular and unreliable.