© Hereward Holland/Age International


 Female Daw Mu Nge 63 Myanmar 

Daw Mu Nge, 63, is a widow caring for four grandchildren.   Her children are in Thailand and send money to help support her and the grandchildren.  Every day she forages in the forest for Ka-tat tree roots and clams to eat and sell in the village. We gave her a $100 loan (£67) and she bought two goats. She gets vitamins from the OPSHG and glasses. 

Daw Mu Nge’s grandchildren are Te Te Oo (12 year old boy, in the stripey red t-shirt at back of family portrait), MawThati (10 year old boy), Eh Htee Shee (8 year old girl) and Tha Da Htwe (4 year old boy). 

 How long have you lived in this village? 
I’ve lived her for 48 years – I came to this village when I married.

 Are you still married? 
I’m a widow now. I got married when I was 27 and was married for 16 years. My husband died when he was 43 – he fell out of a bamboo tree when he was chopping wood. 

 Do you ever miss your husband? 
I miss him sometimes but when I start to feel sad I just think about my grandkids and then I feel 
happy again.  

 How many children do you have? 
I have eight children but five of them died in childhood.  They had diarrhoea and abdominal 
pains and there were no doctors nearby that I could get to.  Three are still alive today – two live 
in Thailand, one in a neighbouring village. They go to Thailand because there isn’t any work here.

 How does it make you feel that they are so far away?
I feel very sad that they are far away from me. But I always knew this would happen – every 
young person in the village goes to Thailand. When they were young I knew that, as soon as 
they grew up, they would have to leave.      

 Do you ever get to talk to them? 
They call me every 1-2 months. Every two months the
(c) Frederic Courbet/HelpAge International 2012

Mama Brigita
South Alego
Around 64 years old

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