The camps not run without the input of thousands of refugee workers and community leaders.
Below, we highlight some of those who lead many activities or participate in different camp programmes.
Setting Up a Successful Business
New micro-entrepreneur Kay Lee deftly serves a series of customers at her food shop while explaining how she has succeeded in improving the financial situation of her household. The mother of four came to Umpiem Mai camp in 2010 to escape conflict and persecution.
Taking a Lead on Nutrition
Work opportunities are limited in camp settings and it can be a challenge for young people to find their way in life. One young woman who has found a fulfilling path after some trial and error is Say Say Paw, 24. After studying until the 10th grade, Say Say Paw started work as a trainer with the Right To Play NGO.
From Security Officer to Section Leader
Since childhood, Saw Thin Paw has had a limp. For much of his early life, that meant he coped with feelings of insecurity. In 1997, the then father of five and his family arrived in Mae La camp, where he felt he had few prospects.
Village Sets Up Rice Bank
Periodic rice shortages were for long a problem for families at Doo Doh Hta village in Karen State. And when the rice ran out, accessing supplies from outside was difficult. “People are very poor. They have no extra money to buy rice … and it is very far and time-consuming to travel to buy it,’’ said Naw Lay Wah, a village resident and leader.
Leading Community-Managed Targeting
Daw Moe Moe Win is a confident leader in her role heading up Community-Managed Targeting (CMT) in Mae La, the largest refugee camp in Thailand. She and her family arrived in the camp in 2006, after experiencing many difficulties in Burma/Myanmar.