Learning to speak English is a part of Myanmar education, where every student has to learn English from pre-elementary school. But there are many students who can’t speak and pronounce English well. For students with cleft lip and cleft palate it is even worse. It is common for students who are born with a cleft lip and palate to have speech problems at some time in their learning lives. According to an estimate based on records from the Central Women’s Hospital in Yangon, between 6,000 and 8,000 children in Myanmar are born with cleft lip and cleft palate every year.
Khine Zin Htun from Ngapudaw Township is 8 years old and her family earns income as seasonal workers. Although she passed grade two, she still faces many difficulties in her schooling due to being born with cleft lip and cleft palate. “When she pronounces English words, the words are really unclear. I worry about her future education with her cleft lip and palate”, said her father U Cho Cho Lin. Khine Zin Htun’s father is worried about her future education as other students will have much more skill with English as she gets older.
For those with cleft lip and cleft palate, air escapes out of the nose when they speak and there is less tissue on the roof of the mouth for the tongue to touch, so this creates difficulties in speaking and correct pronunciation. However, KT Care Foundation changed the life of Khine Zin Htun and improved her chances for better education by enabling her to have surgery to correct these difficulties. Through his local network, U Cho Cho inquired about cleft lip and palate surgery for his daughter and he was directed to KT Care Foundation for potential support. As a seasonal worker he couldn’t afford the medical expenses for her surgery, however KT Care provided the cleft lip and palate surgery free of charge through it’s partner organization “New Look, New Life” and also supported additional expenses including transportation, accommodation and meal costs during the duration of the trip to Yangon.
U Cho Cho is very thankful to the KT Care Foundation for helping his daughter’s cleft lip and cleft palate. “I will train my daughter to improve her English pronunciation.Without KT Care’s help, my daughter could not pronounce English words correctly”, said her Father.