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Hardship forces youth migration

Struggling to recover from Cyclone Giri, many young villagers are seeking work elsewhere

A woman from the area affecte by Giri mending fishing nets A woman from the area affecte by Giri mending fishing nets
  • ucanews.com reporter, Yangon
  • Myanmar
  • May 28, 2011
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Hardship since a tropical cyclone struck last year has forced many young people in villages in the west of the country to leave home and look for work to support their families, Church officials in Pyay diocese say.

Father Gabriel Aung Lin Sein, parish priest of Sacred Heart Church in Myaebon, one of the worst hit areas when Cyclone Giri struck last October, said a great many youths have left their villages to find jobs in Kachin State, on the Thai border and in Yangon.

Because they are so far from home, he says he fears for their well-being.

“We’ve not been able to help everyone since we don’t have enough resources,” he said.

Hundreds of families are struggling to make ends meet.

“We are struggling to get food on a daily basis since aid efforts stopped some time ago,” said Daw Yee Tun, a villager in Natshinchaung, Minbya township.

She said the only living they could make was selling firewood in nearby towns.

As a result many youths from her village have left to look for jobs.

Sister Goretti from the Society of the Sisters of St. Paul congregation in Natshinchaung village said many youths who left for Kachin state are working in gold mines, those who headed to the Thai border are working in the fishing industry, while those who went to Yangon are working in factories or as housemaids.

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