We spoke to Soe May, a 12 year old girl living in a remote community in Myanmar. She told us about the effects of coronavirus on her rural village and her education. 


"My name is Soe May. I’m twelve years old. I live in a village in the Shan State of Myanmar. I’m a Grade Four student who attended a UWS school last year. At the moment, it is the summer holidays for us. But last year we went to the UWS summer school. This year, because of Covid-19, I couldn’t go to school, I just have to stay home. I help my parents with cleaning the house and feeding the animals. 

Over the last few weeks, the village leader has spoken to us everyday about what we can do to prevent covid-19, and also the new rules set by the regional authorities. My teacher also teaches us about covid-19 almost every day. She uses a loud speaker so we can sit apart. She teaches us how to wash our hands. She also tells us that we have to use not only water but also soap every time we wash our hands. She reminds us to wash hands for about one minute. I have about ten friends and we all do what our teacher taught us. 

Before coronavirus, I washed my hands sometimes. But now, I usually wash my hands every morning after playing, after going to the toilet and after coming back from other houses in my village. Last month, we were told not to visit the other houses but now we are allowed to again.

I have been sharing everything my teacher taught me with my parents and they have started to follow the advice. I am also teaching my younger sister and she follows my teaching very well.

I have some books at home to read and write. I often read the books and sometime draw the pictures. I’m worried about my school. I would like to go to school now. But, I can’t go."


We need your help to make sure Soe May can continue learning throughout the pandemic. Your donation can fund our community teachers to deliver distance learning. 

Donate now

Name and personal details have been changed to protect identity.