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Padee Go Laa

28 Sep 16

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VOICES OF THE COMMUNITY: Shelter for the Most Vulnerable, Padee Go Laa

Since his only daughter returned to Burma/ Myanmar from Mae La camp 10 years ago, Padee Go Laa has been living alone. At 65 years old, with impairment to his right ear and eye, and an illness that had him in-and-out of the camp medical facilities for months, he had been living in a shelter without walls. Insects have been devouring the walls over the past two years. Padee Go Laa was not aware that he could receive help from the shelter team. He was delighted when the Shelter Working Group (SWG) in his section, after an assessment of his needs, which took into consideration the challenges he faces, decided to repair his home. Now, instead of only having space to lie down, Padee Go Laa has a house that adheres to the TBC guidelines of providing a minimum of 3.5 square meter space per person; in other words, he has a liveable home. During the construction, Padee Go Laa stayed in a nearby church. In discussions with SWG members he explained that his daughter returned to Burma/Myanmar because of her husband, although he didn’t understand why. Padee Go Laa feels that he could not make such a strenuous trip, especially after years of displacement due to conflict before he arrived in the camp in 1997. He revealed that he did not have much information about the prospects for returning to his homeland. However, if all refugees decided to go, he too would have to return he supposed. Otherwise, he currently has no interest; he can only plan as far as the following week but at least, he can sleep within four walls once again.