Today’s chapter of STORIES FROM THE OTHER WORLD tells us about a boy with deafness who lives in a village near Taunggyi, Myanmar. Despite the difficulties due to his disability in Myanmar, Wai Phyo was able to study, won some sports competitions and now has a profession, a life full of success!

“I am Ma TinTin Oo from Ho Nar village and I would like to share my experience and feelings about the work of New Humanity International.

First of all, I will briefly introduce my family: there are six of us, my husband, my three sons, one daughter and me, the mother. I want to share the story of my third child as he is the reason why we met the foundation.

Me and my husband, we have a day-to-day job, my children study and unfortunately the third one, Wai Phyo Aung, was born with deafness. We found out when he was one and a half years old, we didn’t know how to treat him. When he was old enough to start school, we sent him off but he was not accepted well by the teachers. The whole family suffered a lot and he had to stay at home all day with nothing to do.

Our family got to know New Humanity in 2011, when they supported many families in the village by donating food and raising piglets and providing training to improve farming techniques. In 2019, we ourselves received 2 piglets and the necessary feed for them. They monitored our food supply and supported the health of the piglets. We were able to increase the piglet farm, sell two of them and with the proceeds we bought hearing aids for our son.

In 2011, NH started taking care of our son and providing us with basic food like rice, oil, potatoes, eggs, pulses… This was already significant because there were many of us and we didn’t have enough income to buy much food. They also help us by providing special education for my son, the teachers come directly to our house and Wai Phyo Aung has become more alert and active. Since the teacher has educated the family in sign language, we can communicate with him more easily. My husband and I were very sad that our son didn’t go to school like the other children, now we are relieved that he can have an effective and appropriate education.

New Humanity cares not only for our family but also for other disabled families in our village. They have created a special education programme for children with disabilities, provide health care and provide awareness-raising and information and vocational training courses for the families of the beneficiaries.

In 2020, my son was able to overcome the limitations of his disability: New Humanity planned for my son and other deaf children from Nan Haung village to be examined by a specialist in Mandalay. The doctor prescribed hearing aids, but they were too expensive and we could not afford them. New Humanity further helped us by paying two-thirds of the costs. We were able to cover the remaing cost thanks to the sale of two piglets. Thanks to the hearing aids, my son can hear well and can pronounce some words including our names. My husband and I are grateful to New Humanity and are very happy for our boy.

We have the opportunity to have medical and dental check-ups for the whole family twice a year. Once a year, my son and I have the opportunity to travel to visit Taunggyi. Doing day-to-day jobs, we couldn’t afford to take our children on holiday or sightseeing without NH’s help. My son is very happy, I have the opportunity to meet other mothers and we can share our children’s progress. All this makes me feel relieved and optimistic.

My son also had the opportunity to participate in competitions during the holidays in 2019. He won the silver prize in the 2019 Special Olympics Regional Games (100-metre run) and the first prize in the Mini Marrathon Taunggyi (3 km run). We are very proud of him.

In 2022, New Humanity created a basic haircutting course in our village. My son, Wai Phyo Aung, had the opportunity to participate in this training course. He enjoyed it very much. After finishing the course, some people and children from our village started coming to our house to have their hair cut by him. Gradually, he will be able to turn this passion into a real profession.

Over the years, New Humanity’s projects and support have been of great help to all villagers, from children with disabilities to their families. We will continue to support the organisation and participate as much as possible in New Humanity’s future plans and projects.

On behalf of our family and the villagers of Kon Lon, I express my gratitude to New Humanity and all those who support these projects.

And we too are grateful to our staff and to all those who support us, thanks to you children like Wai Phyio have the chance to see their lives fully realised despite the context in which they live, THANK YOU!