In Myanmar WFP provides monthly ration of rice to parents who send their children to school. Copyright:WFP/WFP Myanmar
Yan Jen is 11 years old and lives with her family in Motai village in Shan State. Her parents are poor farmers who own a few acres of land and grow rice but not enough for the whole family to get through the lean season.
Sending three children to school was not possible as Yan Jen parents, like most households in the area, spend a large part of their income to purchase food. Yan Jen explains: “I have two brothers and they both attend school but I did not get that chance as my parents cannot afford to pay school fees for the three of us," she says. "But last year, WFP and World Vision started the Food For Education programme in our village and since then my life has changed. Now my parents receive 10 kilos of rice for each of us – so 30 kilos each month - if we attend school. With this food my parents can afford to pay the fees to help me build my future”.
Yan Xiao- Yan Jen's mother explained to WFP: “Before WFP helped us to send our children to school, not only did I have to sacrifice my daughter's education, but we also struggled during the lean season. We are poor farmers and what we produce cannot feed us. Now we receive rice every month and I don't need to buy food on the market, I can spend our money to help build a better future for our children, especially my daughter.”
Yan Jen is now studying in grade 2 and she told WFP she wants to become a teacher to help poor children like her get a better education.