28-year-old Eh Nee K'Mwee Paw and 32-year-old Naw Tae Paw are well aware that pregnancy and childbirth can be associated not only with the joy of new life, but also with concerns about illness and death. Both women share the experience of pregnancy in a refugee camp in Thailand. Both women know the daunting worry for the life of their child and their own lives. The stories of Eh Nee K'Mwee Paw and Naw Tae Paw and their babies have a happy ending - thanks to thorough healthcare before, during and after birth in Malteser International's health facility.Read more
Thailand is an emerging country that in recent years has experienced an extremely fast pace of economic growth. At the same time, recurring political unrest and profound inequality create divisions among the population.
On Thailand’s border with Myanmar live around 100,000 displaced persons, who fled from violent conflict and human rights abuses more than 30 years ago.
After the military coup in February 2021 in Myanmar, not only is a return of refugees to their homeland a distant prospect, but even more people are displaced and reach Thailand.
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Thanks to your support, we have been providing important aid in Thailand for many years now
Malteser International has been working in Thailand since 1979, and focuses on improving the provision of basic medical care for disadvantaged and marginalized population groups. We began by supporting the service of a leprosy hospital for refugees near to the Cambodian border. Since 1993 until today, we have been active in providing healthcare as well as water, sanitation and hygiene to displaced persons from Myanmar in the north west of the country. From 2009 to 2017, we also supported Thai villages in the vicinity of the camps. From 2005 to 2008, Malteser International provided emergency relief, as well as support with rebuilding, to communities in the south of Thailand that were affected by the Asian tsunami.
Our projects in Thailand
One example of our help: this is how we support Naw Toe Wei in a refugee camp
Naw Toe Wei has been living in a refugee camp for half her life already and there are days when it is especially difficult for her to be dependent on help. As a refugee in Thailand she is not allowed to work or leave the camp. Groceries and water as well as medical care are provided by aid organizations.
She has birthed six children in the camp and even her grandchildren were born there by now. For years, Naw Toe Wei has been clinging on to the hope that she can one day return to her home country. After the recent military coup in Myanmar however, this day was pushed back further into the future.
“Malteser International is like a walking cane to me. My life would not be easy without Malteser International. They provide water, sanitation and medical facilities. Water is life. I would not be able to live without water. We need it for everything – drinking, cooking, cleaning. That is why I am very grateful to Malteser International,” says Naw Toe Wei.
Stories from Thailand
One day in a life of Thitimon
Thitimon works as a supervisor for maternal, newborn and child health for Malteser International in two refugee camps in Thailand since 2007. She helps mothers and their babies to live a life of health and dignity. However, her job comes with quite a few challenges, because there is a high rate of high-risk pregnancies in refugee camps in Thailand.
"This puts a lot of pressure on us. When I face these challenges, I cannot solve them alone - so I ask for help," she says about complications at work. In this video, Thitimon shares her experiences, motivation and how she supports people in need.
Interview with psychosocial support supervisor Chitlada Kankeow
How does the experience of displacement affect people and their mental health? And how can these people be accompanied and supported, even if or precisely because the hopeless conditions and circumstances are not going to change anytime soon? Chitlada Kankeow and her psychosocial support team are addressing those very questions and are available with various psychosocial services for people in the camps.Read more
For over 20 years, Malteser International has been working to provide improved medical care for thousands of Myanmar refugees living in refugee camps in Thailand. Many of these refuges have lived in these camps for so long that they can hardly remember their homeland. In the face of difficulties faced by the refugees, a bright glimmer of hope can be seen in the story of two women in Mae La Oon refugee camp.Read more