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Myanmar's lifestyle is undergoing dramatic change. Following many years of armed domination, the land is slowly opening up to the outside worlds and becoming a democratic state. In 2016, we opened our Yangon branch to tap the full appeal of those with access to safe drinking waters, proper restrooms and good sanitation. There is no dignity and health in human beings' daily routine without all three.
All over the land, more than four out of five and more than three out of four have proper restrooms. However, in many of Asia's most populous countryside municipalities, these are among the poorest. The shortage of sustained government infrastructures and natural ressources has hindered the effort to get to people with these goods.
Myanmar's sex-specific educational challenges: All the guys have to say
A 13-year-old pupil remembers his younger sibling dropping out of college at the tender ages of 10 in the 4th year. She has been sellin' seafood since then to help her father, a fisher, and to help her brother's schooling. Too many such histories are to be found in Myanmar, where it is hard for many women to get an apprenticeship, although it is constitutional for everyone.
Whilst most of them are in elementary or higher years, the number of female pupils in higher and lower tertiary level is slowly decreasing. Whilst Myanmar's government colleges have no lessons, there are disguised expenses such as materials and transport that make them prohibitively expensive for many. For this reason, many mothers only enroll their children in their schooling.
As a Yangon resident from a very small town, Aye, 11, is regarded as "different" from her other schoolmates. These aspirations are hampered by the fact that she has hardly any free practicing and when she does, it is usually only with one of her masculine cousins, as she is not permitted to toy with her masculine schoolmates.
It is also hard to find schoolmates to join in, because football is a man's game. "But it'?s not as much pleasure as playing with someone else," says Aye. Wed, 13, has no high aspirations, although she is one of the best pupils of her college and has recently won the Myanmar State Spanish Commendation.
In spite of her outstanding teaching achievements, she is planning to work in a business after graduating from high-school. We are from Shan State, which has the highest illiteracy rates for women in Myanmar according to the 2014 population and housing census. How many young people, who cannot go to official colleges because they are either unaccessible, unsuccessful or prohibitively expensive, visit a monastery about 16 km from their town.
One Hopone educational officer, Shan, says that country wives often have fewer options than their Myanmar municipal colleagues, while the challenge for ethnically discriminated minorities is even greater. Exposed to terrible household abuse by her step-father, Khin still finds it hard to focus or deal with her temper.
"I' always thought a girl was more fragile than a boy," he says, and adds that he thinks it makes it hard for her to live her life. Comrade Htun, 13, remembers how his two older nurses had to drop out of grade four and three to do a low-paid job.
It would not have been possible without the commitment and help of Mr Win Pe of the Myanmar Literacy Resource Centre, a Yangon-based organisation dedicated to educating deprived minors across the state.