(Mae La camp)

Work opportunities are limited in camp settings and it can be a challenge for young people to find their way in life.

One young woman who has found a fulfilling path after some trial and error is Say Say Paw, 24.

After studying until the 10th grade, Say Say Paw started work as a trainer with the Right To Play NGO. She stayed in that role for three years before moving on to work with a Thai family planning programme in the camp for a year.

In 2013 she started work as a community nutrition programme assistant with TBC, until her mother’s illness forced her to resign.

After her parent became well again, Say Say Paw needed to find a way to support her family once more.
She took part in vocational training in cosmetics, but her hopes of acquiring paid employment in that sector didn’t bear fruit.

Spotting that she hadn’t yet found work, TBC approached the by now mature and confident young woman about returning to the TBC nutrition programme.

Say Say Paw soon became an articulate and respected figure on the nutrition team, and a person to whom others looked to for leadership.

Among her main responsibilities are carrying out home and school visits, taking part in Supplementary and Therapeutic Feeding Programmes and assisting the latest Nutrition Survey.

In 2016 the young leader was promoted to the position of supervisor for all nine nutrition staff in the camp.

Nutrition work provides ‘’personal satisfaction,’’ Say Say Paw said. Other refugee leaders and members of community organizations are also supportive of the work of the nutrition programme, she added.

TBC’s nutrition programme targets the most vulnerable camp residents, especially children, through initiatives such as the Infant and Young Child Feeding Programme (IYCF) and Supplementary and Therapeutic Feeding Programmes.