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Road to recovery

Through the support of StarKids in Myanmar, Thiri no longer lives on the street.

When Thiri was orphaned at age nine, her half-sister took her in. But that meant living next to the road near Mandalay’s central railway station.

When the authorities cleared away their settlement she had to run away. “My school bags and clothes were taken,” she said.

Thiri was having a difficult time living with her sister, so she went to a World Vision drop-in centre for street children, supported by StarKids.

Here Thiri was safe, and she could shower, eat nutritious food, and participate in informal education and life skills classes.

Thiri stayed at the centre for about four months. During her stay, World Vision contacted her aunt, Daw Than, who lives in Yangon.

“When I received the phone call, I wanted to take care of Thiri. I did not hesitate, because she is my niece,” Daw Than said.

In March last year, Thiri was successfully united with her aunt. World Vision helped Thiri transfer schools from Mandalay to Yangon, and provided her with school supplies.

“I was happy to hear that I will be staying with my aunt in Yangon. I am happy here,” said Thiri, now aged 13.

Recently, Thiri finished her Grade 4 final exams. “Thiri received high scores during her monthly exams. She also helps her youngest cousin with his lessons,” Daw Than said.

“I will try hard to pass the exams regularly and become a teacher,” Thiri said. A dream she can look forward to now that her days on the street are over.

Donations from Jetstar customers to StarKids are helping to give children a brighter future across south-east Asia.

Words: Therese Johnson/World Vision

Photos: Khaing Min Htoo/World Vision

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Caption: Thiri is happy living with her aunt, and helps her make breakfast in the morning.