Living deep in the forests of Salawin National Park in a village which lies 100km from the nearest town, is Jintra. She is one of KHT’s scholarship recipients.
Her family is a typical Karen family, her father, Mala Ei, has lived in the village for 50 years. They mainly live off subsistence farming and ‘slash and burn’ work with little disposable income for school fees. KHT met her and her family in their home during the school holidays in March 2020.
Jintra studies computing at HVD level at vocational college. During term time she lives in a dormitory close to the college. She really enjoys her time at college where she finds sports, in particular, volleyball, really fun.
Mala Ei expressed how grateful he was to KHT for providing a scholarship for his daughter. He said that the scholarship was good for him because ‘he didn’t have to work in the rice fields one day and the town on another day to support his children’.
For many other families in the area, parents cannot support their children in school meaning they have to return home and work for the family. For Jintra, this would include cooking rice, washing and rice pounding, which are her responsibilities during her holidays. Other students have to work part time throughout the week leaving little time for their studies.
Her parents were pleased she was able to continue her studies, however they were happy it was the holidays as Jintra was able to come home and see the family.
The family have not only benefited from the scholarship project. They also live in a community that is the recent recipient of a KHT Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project.
Before the water project they had to collect water from the river. Walking to and from the river was tiring and time consuming. Sometimes they would have to walk ‘with baby on the front and water on the back; sometimes with water on the front and baby on the back’.
During the dry season there often wasn’t enough water available for cooking, washing and cleaning.
The water project has ensured they have access to clean water all year round. This will help them complete their daily tasks and open up opportunities to create other sources of income due to more reclaimed time.
Mala Ei has been helping almost every day as part of the construction team to help his community install a new water system through support from KHT.