Lian Htang (name has been changed)
He is in the middle of six siblings situated in an ordinary Myanmar family contending with a multitude of unfortunate circumstances. There was no medical clinic and no schools in his small village area. However, for a ten-year old boy, it was paradise. Mountains to climb. Rivers to swim. Fields to run. And, plenty of playmates.
But, for his parents, the situation was quite different. Living off the land at the whims of nature was becoming more and more challenging. Meals went from meager portions to being skipped altogether. Job opportunities when available were several hours walk one way.
He remembers his mom’s screams which woke him that morning. As he looked outside through the morning’s light towards her voice, he saw his father…hanging from a tree. His father, at the age of 34, had taken his own life. It had been an exceptionally unpleasant week for the family. Even at just ten years old, he noticed his father had not eaten much that week. It is conjectured that his father committed suicide because of his inability to overcome the poverty which tormented his family.
His father’s suicide led to his mom’s mental breakdown from which she never recovered. She has been incapable of caring for her children ever since. At her request, two of her sons were placed in one of our homes.