Fort White has most modern amenities available in the city, a big difference from the 7 small villages in the 10 km radius surrounding it, where people collect water at communal taps and use outhouses. Though they have access to electricity some villagers often do not have money to pay the electric meter.
Most children grow up attending no-fee schools, where they are often provided with their only meal for the day. Besides the financial scarcity around us, we see a poverty of spirit. In these villages, there exists a ver heavy hopelessness. Many young people are not in school and those who are face countless challenges and don’t do well. Unfortunately, even those who are able to make the grade are often not able to pursue tertiary education or training because of their financial state.
Rural people migrate to the cities hoping to escape the poverty experienced in villages. Having left their children behind in the care of the elderly, migrants search for jobs. A lack of skills limits their opportunities to low paying jobs forcing the rural migrant into informal settlements. Their meager salaries are barely enough to sustain themselves and what funds they manage to send back home are inadequate for the care and education of their children.
Sinomtha lives with her grandparents. She is very fond of her grandmother and would love to build her a big house when she is older. She loves to sing but does not particularly like to sing in front of people. She says she is a hard worker and likes to share her ideas with other people. Her mother is a nurse. She aspires to be successful so that her family can have what she couldn’t have growing up.