(Tham Hin, 2014)

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.

Tee Ya Bu was the campaign manager for Community-Managed Targeting when it was introduced in Tham Hin, and was one of the key persons helping people to understand the rations changes.

Asked why he stays so busy and active, Tee Ya Bu said: “I have been involved in many kinds of work with NGOs, because I love learning. When there is anything new, I try to learn it and share it with my people.”

Tee Ya Bu feels that livelihood activities are very important to enable people to become self-reliant. He began his own livelihood work by receiving land and seeds from COERR to plant vegetables. This gave him a little income and he joined an Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) group to receive a 4,500 TBH grant to buy a pig. He later sold the pig to buy ducks. Selling ducks helped him earn enough money to buy new pigs and catfish. Now, he is feeding 50 catfish, 59 ducks and 5 pigs, and has an abundant vegetable garden.

“I have been working very hard to be able to support my family, to stand on my own feet. People should understand the CMT concept, especially livelihood activities, to be able to stand by themselves and to become self-reliant,” said Tee Ya Bu.