World Vision Malaysia Child Sponsorship Visit, Ban Buaak Village
It was a 3 hour trip to Chiangmai, Thailand. Upon arrival we were greeted by the World Vision staff from Thailand. The World Vision Child Sponsorship Programme offers individuals and corporations the opportunity to bring about change in the lives of children, their families and their communities.
Under the Programme, child sponsors choose to sponsor children from marginalized communities in other parts of the world with the ultimate goal of giving these children a brighter future. The cost of sponsorship is RM65 per child per month (child from Asian countries) or RM80 per child per month (child from non-Asian countries).
Our destination was to Mae Sariang, which another 4 hour drive from Chiangmai. Mae Sariang is a small town and district (Amphoe) alongside the Yuam River in Mae Hong Son Province. The areas around Mae Sariang are mountainous and forested. The area has many links to Burma, such as its architecture and a large population of Burmese Muslims.
There is a population of just 50,000. Once an important trading town with Burma in the 1950s many buildings from this era still remain. The town is characterized by old wooden shop houses and ornate Shan temples. Going to the temple is extremely pivotal in Shan culture.
The first village we visited is known as Baan Buak. Here the team was to shoot the first family. The father Likit (Age: 35) is a rice farmer and mother Normeumeu is a homemaker. Their children Jintana (Age: 11) and younger brother Siam (Age: 8) are the ones we followed for the shoot. The family has a newborn girl which is yet to be named.
The road leading into the village is a non-asphalt road. In dry season it is dusty and in rainy season it is wet and slippery. The children will use this road to go to school. During dry season this family does not have much water for drinking and other use. The village is situated up on the mountains and the water from the mountain is not always clean. Therefore, the children are frequently at risk of diseases. World Vision provides education materials and latrines but has not implemented water project for their village.
All pictures taken with Leica M Monochrom courtesy of Leica Store Malaysia