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.
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.
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.