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Enote 127                                                      February 25, 2017

Making a Hard Place Softer
Dear Friends,

I recently came across an interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor about the problem of the refugees stuck between a rock and a hard place. I recommend it, and you may read it here. It refers to the increasing pressure on the refugees in Mae Hla and other camps to return home, and the inability or simply refusal of the Burma government to provide them with any peaceful place to return to.

The article says in part, "And life in the camps is growing dire. 'We don’t believe that refugee nutrition can be maintained if there are further cuts to the food basket.' warns Duncan McArthur, who runs the Border Consortium (TBC), an organization providing aid to the refugees." We continue to do what we can to help those especially in Mae Hla camp.

Another situation is very much more encouraging. We found recently that our school population in Maw Kwee had dropped to about half what it had been. This was a result of the students being accepted into the local Thai government school at nearby Mae Salit. That's a big victory for us! We don't want to own the schools we begin forever. We want the refugees to live and prosper as best they can in their host country. And here is an example of hill-tribe people joining a Thai government school.

[NOTE ADDED: Tom first met Duncan in 1996 at No. 4 Guest House. Tom was woken up by knocking at 4am; he opened the front door to find a head festooned with dreadlocks. It was an unsetteling moment. Duncan had come from Australia and once he found the Karen he never left.]
Chris at Mae Hla camp
Chris reviewing proposal at Mae Hla
Saw Lay Taw and Children
Saw Lay Taw at Maw Kwee
  School Committee
Teachers and School Committee from Kler Day in discussion with the Bracketts
 
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