Forty-year-old U Tun Naing is married to Ma Aye Htay, who is 37, and they live with their seven children, who are 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 6 and 3 years old – in an unusually large family for Myanmar. The children who are 14, 12 and 6 are in school while their older siblings join their mother in working as daily laborers and the toddler stays at home along with her father, who cannot work because of two strokes he has suffered. Despite having four paid workers, this family is very poor, and they have many medical bills, and so they were prioritized by their village leaders to have a new, sanitary latrine built in partnership with CWS.
While the whole family benefits from this improvement in their lives, the 14-year-old girl, Ma The Phyu, is especially grateful. “I am so happy to have a clean latrine. You may not know why it is so valuable to me, so I will tell you. Before we had an unsafe latrine with falling-down walls and I did not feel good going to toilet because I was afraid someone would see me. I especially did not want to use toilet when I had my menstrual period, so I always waited until it was dark to use the latrine – which was really dangerous. So, this safe and secure latrine is a precious gift to me. I really want all my girlfriends to have hygienic latrines, too. My whole family feels so proud to have a good latrine – even we are a poor family”.
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