Thailand: Myanmar and Thailand - Weaving the future by fostering understanding


from our member organisation in Thailand, Jesuit Refugee Services - Asia-Pacific

Weaving the Future

The future is never an easy question to deal with, mostly because it is unknown territory for most of us, and I can see that clearly after I met refugees in the Mae Hong Son camps. I saw their dejected faces and they felt emotionally downhearted when I met and talked with them. I even realized how a seemingly clear future of being granted resettlement can turn into another incident of waiting as I heard of two families having to return to the camps due to the executive order of the US President in January this year. My colleague from JRS Loikaw said he noticed a lack of confidence among them after he had a small chat with a few of them during our meeting.

Our visit to the camp now was part of a coordinated meeting and joint effort between JRS Mae Hong Son from Thailand, and JRS Loikaw from Myanmar to prepare for the possible future return of refugees from Mae Hong Son camps. The first coordination meeting took place in November last year in Myanmar with three JRS Mae Hong Son staff meeting with organizations working in Loikaw, the Kayah State Education Department, and of course myself and Mariano who are part of JRS Loikaw. This past February was our chance to visit the refugee camps, the first time for both of us to meet people of our own ethnicities who had fled to the Thai – Myanmar border because of conflict...

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Jesuit Refugee Services, Asia-Pacific, Thailand, Myanmar