Photo: Mawker Refugee Camp (Karen) from madnomad.com.
Here is a quote from an article about Burmese refugees stuck in Thai camps:
“Although refugee camps are hardly natural places to live, thousands have been born in the camps and never left. For the vast majority of them, the only way of life they have ever known is one forced to be dependent on outside assistance. For many young refugees, refugee camps are where they were born and where they grew up, and the only reality they have ever seen exists within the fences of the camp…Meanwhile, many older people have lived in the camps for so long that they can hardly remember their homeland anymore.”
Interested in volunteering? Here are some options:
–Burma Volunteer Program (OpenMind Projects is all about teaching people to learn. You would probably be teaching English.)
–Central Thailand Mission (You aren’t usually allowed to live inside the camp; you have to use a coordinator who is a local. This organization works with Thai orphanages, etc. in addition to its providing of supplies to Karen refugees [the Karen are a persecuted minority from Burma/Myanmar].
Something to try: Contact missionaries who are working on the Thai-Myanmar border. Some of them help refugees. You could assist them by coming through the Mission Nanny organization (see my earlier post on being a Mission Nanny), or by searching for their websites and directly emailing them to ask about what kind of help they need. Find out if your church already supports missionaries working in that area.