Fighting HIV and homelessness in Myanmar

As you sponsor a child in Myanmar, we thought you might be interested in hearing about the work World Vision is doing with children living with HIV.

Chan Mon is in kindergarten, where he is learning and playing with other children. But his grandmother was never certain he would get there.

“I was worried about my grandson when he was nearly five years old. I wondered if he will have a chance to go to school? Will the teacher accept him or not? How will he deal with other children and will they discriminate against him?”

Chan Mon’s grandmother has legitimate concerns – her grandson has HIV and lost his parents to the illness when he was two. Now he and his elder sister live with their grandmother who sells paste, dried fish and fish sauce in other villages – trips that can take from three to five days. But when Chan Mon’s grandmother didn’t have a job and was forced to take out a loan they found themselves in financial strife.

The interest on the loan was crippling, and the family lost their land, home and possessions. They had to struggle to pay for food and medical fees for Chan Mon. They sought shelter in a house abandoned by its owner for three months, but were then forced to move into a tent.

“When it was raining, we all got wet and had sleepless night,” the grandmother said.

World Vision had a presence in the local community and the family worked with the charity to build a house. World Vision also helped them access medical treatment, nutrition support and health education which changed Chan Min’s grandmother’s perspective.

“At first, my neighbours suggested to me that I not spend money on curing him because this disease cannot be controlled and cured, he will die very soon, but now even the community is aware of HIV disease, and cares for Chan Mon with non-discrimination.

“World Vision saved my grandson’s life and I am ready to participate in World Vision activity in my village,” the grandmother said. “Now I am very happy to see my grandson going to school and studying together with other children. I feel no worry that my grandson lives like other children and I really appreciate the World Vision staff and volunteers that care for and advocate with the teacher for my grandson’s situation. I believe that he will stay for a long life. ”