Street Kids Hanging Out

Thiha Lwin

Thiha Lwin is a reporter and photojournalist living in the town of Pyay. He spent several months in 2015 following an eleven-year-old street kid, Khaing Win.

International sanctions have been removed from Myanmar, investment is pouring in and its economy is growing at the fastest pace in Asia. But this boom has a long way to go to help the most vulnerable in Myanmar’s population, where more than 40% of all children suffer from chronic malnutrition and resultant stunting of growth.

Thiha did not want to make a conventional essay about poverty and victimhood. He says, “every human being has tremendous dignity. If you take photos of people as victims you’ll miss that.”

When the banks of the Irrawaddy overflowed in the summer of 2015, following one of the worst monsoon seasons in the country’s history, Thiha Lwin found his story. Khaing Win and his friends volunteered with a local NGO providing disaster relief for the thousands who had lost their homes. They built rafts from plastic bottles and paddled to those left stranded in their homes, distributing food and water. “Children who have nothing, absolutely zero. And they end up showing that they have a bigger heart than anyone I know. Where did they learn that?” wonders our photographer, left in awe.

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