Myanmar: Getting High To Keep Hunger Away

  • More than 500 foreign businesses have invested $50 billion, but as poor families move from rural areas to the big city in hopes of finding work, many find themselves struggling.
  • Without education or money to buy food  their families often squatting on land illegally seized by gangs  children are most vulnerable.
  • Many are left to fend for themselves, easily influenced by the bad habits of other street kids, from prostitution and gambling to drug abuse and gang-style extortion.
  • Every morning before sunrise, a growing number of street kids can be seen picking through garbage, climbing on the heaps of trash at city dumps, or sleeping on the sidewalk.
  • Oo and his 15-year-old brother Ko Min are among them.
  • The boys say they earn $2 to $3 a day around half of which goes to their parents and the other half to a small tin of glue they share between themselves.
  • Oo no longer imagines he will one day be a doctor.
  • Ko Min says even his more modest goal, being a soldier, now seems totally unrealistic.