Enote 04 – Working for MAPJuly 31, 2003
Those of you who have read or heard the recent news reports from Burma know that the situation is not good. The detention of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the abuse of the people continues. The oppression of the refugees in Thailand increases —see Nay Kaw’s story below—, and the withdrawal of aid by our own government has started. During these times it is especially important for us to work as hard as we can to meet the large and growing needs of our refugee friends.
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Do you worry about disease or sickness when you are in Asia?
No. We usually take our trips to Asia during January, February and March. That is the dry season, so insects are at a minimum. One of the world’s leading experts on Malaria has worked along the border with refugee populations for many years, and through his efforts Malaria is very low throughout the year, and especially during the dry season. Most of the cases that do exist are brought across the border from Burma. Other insect born diseases such as Japanese encephalitis and dengue fever are also a minimal risk. Cholera and typhoid also exist but are limited to recent arrivals to the refugee population.
Alumnus of the Month NayKaw
Nay Kaw or Nick, came to us several years ago as the eldest of three brothers who were struggling to keep ends together as they were going to school. We gave them grants to help with school tuition, uniforms and other expenses. Since then Nick has joined MAP (the Migrant Assistance Program), and risen to the level of a project officer for refugee assistance. Here is an excerpt from his latest letter.
The situation in Burma and for the migrant workers in Thailand is worse now. They are arrested everywhere in Thailand. Now all the Burmese students who have UN permission to stay in Thailand must move to the border. The Thai government complains that the refugees are trying to rupture the relations between the Thai and
the Burmese governments. Taksin Shinawatra, the Thai Prime Minister, says the migrant workers must return because they bring disease and drugs into the country. He also said the people at Mae Kong Kha camp must move immediately because they destroy the Salween forest. It is now the rainy season so it is very difficult for the people to move. But I think it will be difficult for the Thai to rid migrant workers from the country. Every day more and more people come in from Burma and those that are deported from Mae Sot, come back the very same day. Here in Chiang Mai some of the organizations who work with the Burmese have closed their office, but for us, we work every day. How is your foundation? I hope it is getting bigger and bigger every day. You are doing a very good job for the Burmese people. May God bless you. Nay Kaw
- Development Group has a training session in preparation for personal visits.
- Trip down east to Maine & visits with generous donors.
- Planning for a forum to accompany the exhibit of Chan Chao’s portraits at Colgate this November.
- Working with our designer on a new brochure for the Brackett Foundation.
- Investigating ways to receive donations via the internet.
Tom & Liz