Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Tragic Fire in Refugee Camp - Can you help?

Gentle Reader,

If you keep up with the news in Thailand you know by now that there was a devastating fire in the Ban Mae Surin (2) refugee camp about 90 kilometers from Mae Hong Song Thailand. I haven’t been there but am told the situation is more than grim.  The death toll is more than 30 and as high as 60 according to one report. This camp is home to some 3,500 refugees who have fled Burma to avoid further persecution from the Burmese army.  Most of the residents there are Karenni, an ethnic minority that has been long persecuted by the Burmese junta.
Photo from Chiang Mai City New 
@ Karenni Further Studies Program
The camp was opened in 1992 by the Royal Thai Government.  Support for the refugees comes from several organizations.  The Thai government has repeatedly stated that the camps (there are something like 10 in total) will not be closed and the people will not be repatriated until it is safe for them to return home.  Approximately 2,900 people have lost their dwellings and support services due to last Friday’s fire.

Photo from Chiang Mai City New 
@ Karenni Further Studies Program

The humane thing to do is to help, but what exactly can you do?

The Border Consortium which is based in Bangkok has launched an international fund raising drive.  You can donate any amount on their website - http://www.theborderconsortium.org/

People who live in Thailand but not in Chiang Mai may be aware of efforts similar to the one I’m reporting below.

In Chiang Mai there is an excellent effort to collect badly needed supplies that will be taken to them.  The appeal is repeated below.  For more details, please contact Steve Yarnold charityrooftopparty@gmail.com>

Abundant Blessings, (count yours and share them)!

Jerry Nelson


Massive fire kills over 60 and leaves thousands homeless
that is a few days old - now the death toll is very sadly 60+

A convoy of volunteers is being organized to travel to Ban Mae Surin to transport much needed supplies to the survivors at this refugee camp. 

Khun Art, owner of The GAP House, is spearheading this drive and tells me they are in desperate need of; blankets, clothes, household items in addition to rice, noodle soup packets, canned foods and water. Monetary donations are also being accepted. 

Please bring your donations to Hillside 4 Condo reception desk before March 30. I know Khun Art and travelled with him several years ago to transport donations to flood victims in Uttaradit. A little will go a long way for these people in need.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.



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