Bajau Laut (sea gypsies) Abduhan and his wife Siti Lorina have never even heard about schools, much less received any form of education throughout their lives.
As nomadic seafarers, the Bajau Laut are born and raised on boats at sea. They roam the waters between Malaysia and the Philippines, and have never had any legal documents owing to their indeterminate status. Being stateless, their children have no access to government schools.
Illiterate and impoverished, the Bajau Laut have been vulnerable to exploitation by local gangs who recruit them to use bombs and cyanide for fishing, thus ravaging the coral reefs.
The Humana Learning Centres have provided them with the opportunity to gain basic education and after that, a chance to move on to find employment in shops, restaurants or as tour guides.
"The illiteracy should stop at our generation: we don't want our children to stay on boats like us. When they know how to read and write we hope they can find employment and have a better future," says Abduhan.