Myanmar: Khin Myat Myat Kyaw gets closer to realizing a lifelong dream

Life hasn't been easy for 24-year-old Khin Myat Myat Kyaw. She always wanted to earn money so that her parents could have an easier life, however, this seemed impossible until very recently. Now, the arrival of a three-wheel wheelchair from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has brought her closer to realizing her ambitions.

Khin Myat Myat Khaw has spina bifida, a birth defect that affects the formation of the spine and spinal cord, which makes walking and moving around a challenge for her. When Khin Myat Myat Kyaw's mother was pregnant with her, the nurses in their village assured them it was a normal pregnancy.

However, her mother, Daw Sein Nyunt recounts that her daughter "came out like a ball, with her feet curled up". But there was no obstetrician or gynecologist in the village who could be consulted. Daw Sein Nyunt says she and her husband were pressured to give their daughter away because she had a disability, "But we couldn't, we never abandoned her, and we still take care of her."

Video: Thang Khan Sian Khai

"I have been living with this disability for as long as I can remember," says Khin Myat Myat Kyaw. "My father drives a trishaw and works very hard to take care of me and our family. I know I am not able, but I want to help him. Seeing him tired is very hard... I want him to rest," she says.

Though life hasn't been smooth, Khin Myat Myat Kyaw has never seen her disability as a weakness. She didn't get to go to school like other children, but she taught herself some simple calculations and how to write her own name. She may not be able to go out and work to support her family, but she helps her mother with the cooking at home.

The wheelchair from the ICRC team in Rakhine allows her to do much more. "I want to do more for my parents. I want to learn how to knit and to do embroidery so that I can earn some money to help my parents," says Khin Myat Myat Kyaw. Adding, "I never want to depend on other people. I want to be independent, fend for myself and live peacefully."