The 12 year old boy (as of 2013), Chan Chao Loy (or ‘Loy’) is one of the thousands waste picking children in Cambodia. From age of 10, Loy has decided to pick recycling materials to support his family. He also had been eager for buying school materials, bag and a new bicycle. Ever since, he never skipped any single day for work earning 1,000 riel (approximately 0.25 USD) on average per day.
Loy’s father, tuk-tuk driver, said the family’s income is as low as 20 USD per month during low season, reasoning that the family had to move from a 30 dollars (monthly) rent house to current neighborhood where illegally built shacks are plenty, 3 years ago. In this neighborhood, most of dwellers are waste pickers. Loy’s mother is also a waste picker working from 11 pm till early morning. Loy’s both parents are HIV positive.
Loy’s story would be part of my long term project Life Recycling, in which I would proceed with stories of South Korea, my home country, the one considered to be among developed nations. Yet growing number of elderly are picking recycling materials for a living. As South Korea has been persistent to keep welfare system at its poor level, disparity between the poor and the rich has been substantially widen.
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