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.
Saw Da Wi, Warehouse Security
Pride in his job is important to Saw Da Wi, a warehouse security manager at Mae La camp. Saw Da Wi had to flee from his home village in Karen/Kayin State a number of times before he arrived at the camp almost two decades ago.
Bamboo-planting Boosts Camp
Koh Hey, 45, came to Tham Hin camp in 1998. In 2010 he became a bamboo worker on a TBC programme. To start, he began planting bamboo on 30 acres of land on a nearby mountain-side. Three years later he began to add banana, eucalyptus and other plants on an additional 10 acres.
Dedicated to Community Work
Kho Pha Cho has lived in Tham Hin camp since he fled Burma/Myanmar in 1997. The camp was relatively bleak at the beginning, and Kho Pha Cho was an early contributor to the community’s efforts to make it a better place.
Small Enterprise Brings Benefits
Tee Ya Bu, 58, has been living in Tham Hin camp since it was established in 1997. Over the years he has been involved in many programmes run by NGOs such as COERR, the IRC, HI, and TBC. He is now working as part of the Camp Elders Advisory Board (CEAB). His main responsibility is to give advice in camp legal judgements.
Saw Great Soe, Mae La
Saw Great Soe, 33, came to Mae La camp from the Tavoy/Dawei area in Burma/Myanmar in 1996 and studied in the camp up to 10th Grade. After working for five years as a teacher and for four years as a data assistant, he became manager for warehouse number five.