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Two Tales Toddlers: Isabel and Zin

Every childhood is unique. But have you ever wondered what life is like for a child in need overseas?

In this series we compare the lives of toddlers in Australia with those living in the countries where ChildFund works.

Told through the eyes of the child’s parent or guardian, each Two Tales Toddlers story paints a picture of the similarities and differences between children in very different parts of the world.

This month, we meet one-year-olds Isabel and Zin.


Isabel (left) from Sydney and Zin, from Mandalay in Myanmar, live in very different homes and neighbourhoods, but they both love to dance.

Where does your child live?

Izzy’s mother: Sydney, Australia
Zin’s mother: Mandalay, Myanmar

What is their favourite food?

I: Izzy goes through phases. She was all about milk for the longest time, then went through an egg phase. Recently, she tried ice cream and that became her favourite thing.
Z: Zin eats everything I feed her. Egg pudding is her favourite.

What games do they like to play and/or what toys do they like to play with?

I: Izzy’s not all that interested in toys. She likes running around, climbing things, dancing and drawing. She has a little tricycle that she loves riding.
Z: Zin likes playing with a ball and dancing to music.

Do they have a babysitter or go to childcare?

I: Izzy goes to childcare once a week.
Z: My niece looks after Zin.



Who does your child live with?

I: Izzy lives with me and her dad.
Z: Zin lives with me, her three brothers, sister, her uncle, aunt and cousins. Zin’s father passed away five months ago.

What jobs do your child’s parents/caregivers do?

I: I look after Izzy at home, and Izzy’s dad works in an office in the city.
Z: I run a small tea shop that is attached to our house.

Who looks after them most of the time?

I: I look after Izzy.
Z: Zin’s cousin, who is 25, looks after her most of the time.




Describe your child’s suburb.

I: Izzy lives close to the beach in Sydney. You can see the beach from our house. Sometimes we walk to the beach and there’s lots of nice parks. There’s a big shopping centre down the road and a library where I take Izzy to play group.
Z: There is a playground in a monastic school, which is close to our home. There is also a market nearby.

Does your child have electricity at home?

I: Yes. We have a fridge, microwave and washing machine that all use electricity. We also use Google Home, laptops and a TV.

Z: Yes. Sometimes there is a power cut and the blackout usually lasts a couple of hours. We have a small fan, TV and a rice cooker.

Describe your child’s house.

I: Izzy lives in a two-bedroom apartment. She has her own room. There’s also a kitchen, bathroom and living room.
Z: Zin lives in a one-storey house constructed of wood. Bamboo matting is used for the wall and the roof is also made of bamboo. There is just one bedroom and we have shrine. There are two other houses in our compound; Zin’s uncle, aunt and cousins live in them. There is only one toilet for all three houses. We have to go to a communal well that’s behind our house to access water.

What do they sleep on/in?

I: Izzy sleeps in a bed and has her own room.
Z: Zin sleeps next to me on the wooden bedstead with a blanket underneath. We sleep with a mosquito net. During the daytime, Zin naps in a hanging crib made from cloth.

Diet & health


What foods does your child eat?

I: Most mornings Izzy eats oats or quinoa porridge with fruit. Dinners are always different, but there’s always lots of vegetables and usually something like pasta or rice. We’ll have meat every other day.  For lunch Izzy usually has leftovers from dinner or a ham and cheese sandwich. She loves snacking on dried fruits. She also likes babycinnos, which we sometimes get for her when we go to a cafe.
Z: Zin eats dough sticks and has tea for breakfast. For lunch and dinner she eats rice and curry. She also eats bananas and sometimes seasonal fruits such as mango and apple.

What vaccinations has your child had?

I: Izzy’s vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, haemophilus influenzae type B, hepatitis B, polio, pneumococcal, rotavirus, and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and varicella. These vaccinations are part of the Australian government immunisation program.
Z: Zin’s vaccinated against hepatitis B, polio and MMR. She’s also had the BCG vaccine (to protect against tuberculosis), and pentavalent and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. These vaccinations are part of a government immunisation program.

When was the last time your child was sick?

I: It was a while ago.
Z: Zin had a cold a week ago.

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