Saw Gaw, Nu Po
Saw Gaw has played a leadership role in Nu Po for many years, including as a teacher and, at various times, as a member of the camp committee.
From his perspective, 2013 was a difficult year for refugees. The ration changes implemented by TBC presented a range of new challenges to the people in Nu Po and had an impact on the relationship between the camp’s leaders and the community.
“We cannot fulfill the community’s needs. We have struggles, and we have faced a loss of trust,” he says.
As a community leader, Saw Gaw also notes that he and others would like to find alternatives for their people, and that refugees want to be able to work and earn incomes and end their dependence on aid.
But they do not have enough land to farm, are not allowed to leave camp to find work, and are not allowed to buy land for farming.
Saw Gaw is originally from Kya Aye Seit Kyee township. He speaks Karen/Kayin and Burmese and has taught primary school and high school, while also sitting in numerous leadership positions, including the Peace Committee. He is currently the Supply Monitoring Secretary.
Saw Gaw speaks about these issues with passion and with hope. His commitment to his community is clear when he speaks about the need to help people meet their basic needs.
However, Saw Gaw immediately follows his remarks about the struggles in 2013 by talking about the future, stating “we should see our [own] future, not [rely on] others to find us a path ... we have to find and set up our own future.”