Vehicle Tender for Refugee Project

Vehicle Tender for Refugee Project

ADRA Thailand is seeking to purchase a vehicle with the following specs.

 

Toyota Hilux double cab

2 wheel drive

2.4 ltr engine

Mileage not over 70,000 km

Not more than 3 years old

 

Please submit all tenders to ADRA Thailand, 178/95 World Club Land, Soi 2, Moo 7 , Chiang Mai, Hangdong Road, T Nungkwai, Hangdong District, Chiang Mai 50230.  Please indicate the subject, “ADRA Germany Vehicle Tender”.  All tenders should be received in the above mentioned address by close of business, Friday, Sept 22, 2017.

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Repairing Lives

Repairing Lives

La Hea grew up in the Karen state of Myanmar on a small farm. His parents taught him how to grow rice and tend to chilli plants, look after the chickens and fix things when they broke.

He lived there with his three brothers and two sisters.  At first there was calm, but gradually the rebels impact in the area was noticed by the Burmese army, and soon fighting erupted throughout the Karen State, spreading like wildfire. La Hea and his family were some of the lucky ones, able to go about life generally unscathed; however the army came to his door with increasing frequency; both Karen and Burmese demanding he enlist. But La Hea never wanted to be a fighter, he wanted an education and to be with his family. With both armies harassing him, he and his brother decided the best option would be to take refuge in Thailand, with his parents and sister to follow soon after they arrived. The others stayed in Myanmar as rice & chili farmers with their families where they remain. Eventually, his father had enough of Refugee life and returned to Myanmar, to his work as a farmer, where his mother stayed and lived with him.

 It has been eight years since they first arrived in Thailand, and many things have changed for La Hea and his family; life in Myanmar another life away. His sister is still in school and his brother now teaches at a Bible school within the camp. He recently returned to Myanmar to get married, and his wife is still living in Myanmar where she has opened a noodle shop does not wish to leave to come to the refugee camp. He has now moved to Zone B without his mother, who lives in Zone C in order to be close to the farm where she is able to earn a small income. La Hea has found it increasingly frustrating and disheartening at the lack of freedom they have within the camp, needing to bribe the guards with alcohol, food or coffee if he wished to go anywhere outside or occasionally even across Zones.

 La Hea first heard about the ADRAs Vocational Services when he was helping out in another Auto Mechanic Repair shop, and thought it would be an excellent way to increase his skills. He also happened to know one of the auto-mechanic trainers who introduced him to the course and helped him enroll in the training for 2011. Since then he also completed the Basic Electrical and Computer Skills courses. From what he gained during the VT courses, he has been able to open his own motorcycle repair shop and install the electrical wiring run power to the shop and his computer which he uses to study at night. The shop has been open for roughly six months now and is doing good business; however La Hea cannot acquire all parts of the motorbike due to less capitol, making some bikes unable to be fully repaired. He is even able to take on assistants to help him run the shop, which he has recently agreed to take on a disabled trainee alongside his current assistant.

 La Hea feels more well known now and has made many friends since opening the shop. They know he has a good business and even nearby villages know of him and sometimes get their bikes fixed at his shop. His wish for the future is for Myanmar to find peace, and should this happen in his lifetime to return and open a vocational training school. He sees the children that come to watch him work having no skills and wants to help create the opportunity to acquire them; giving them a fresh start and a pathway to a better life. La Hea truly feels that giving to the future generations would be the best way to break the cycle refugees find themselves stuck in.

Service That Counts

Service That Counts

Eh Paw grew up on a small farm in the Karen State of Myanmar. Her husband managed a animal husbandry business whilst she took care of the house and their son; it was hard but fair work.

Trouble soon found them through Burmese soldiers looking for her husbands brother; who had joined the rebel KNU group and the soldiers were demanding information on his whereabouts. Fortunately, they were convinced to leave; however this would not be the last time they would come. The next time they would try and take her husband for allegations of consorting with KNU rebels. Fearing for their lives, they crossed over into Thailand as refugees and now reside in Mae La camp. This was in 2006, and for 10 years they have been living in the camp. The young child they brought with them is now an adult, and another child of 8 years has been born into refugee life without ever having known anything different. Eh Paw lives with her husband, two children and mother-in law and says that the best thing about camp life is “that our family can live together and don’t need to be afraid of the Burmese”.

Eh Paw demonstrates how to make a bed to industry standard.

Photograph by Brittanie McLean

Jobs are limited in the camp, and work can only be done within the camp or illegally in the surrounding fields, which is not an ideal situation due to the possibility of being caught and sent straight back to the war torn territories they were so desperate to escape. Eh Paw was “glad and happy” when she first heard about the VT Project that would provide vocational training services to the camp, and Eh Paw jumped at the chance, getting involved with knitting training in 2007; also acquiring a sewing course as well. Eventually she became a knitting trainer (instructor) for the ZOA project and was kept on when ADRA was handed over the reigns to continue ZOA’s good work. In 2013 she decided to increase her skill level and do Hotel Service vocational training, which lead to her eligibility for an internship in Mae Sot.

Eh Paw has recently been part of ADRA’s internship program, completing her internship at a relatively new hotel attracting people from across the globe. Here she was able to put theory into practice through preparing bedding, cleaning, setting tables etc. The one month placement really helped her increase her skill level and gain a better understanding of Hotel Management; she finds the language barrier the hardest component, but she is willing to put in the hard work to bridge the gap and finds everything else enjoyable, especially preparing the bedding. After the internship she hopes to become a Hotel Service trainer and implement the knowledge she has learned in her teaching, but for now she runs a sewing & knitting business from her house still utilising previous courses to support her family.

Eh Paw

Photograph by Rodolfo Mansalve

Eh Paw hopes that in the future she can build a house where it is safe and stable where her whole family can live together and open a shop to support them. If there is true peace in the future she would like to go back to Myanmar and see ADRA opening VT facilities that can benefit the community on the other side of the border as well. She is very grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn, and make a better future where she can leave the camp and live happily once again.

Electrical Interns

Electrical Interns

In a recent interview we caught up with some Interns at an Electrical store in Mae Sot. Here they have been learning to fix equipment and the basics of customer service.

The shop is currently offering three refugees a placement in their storefront. These men were forced to leave their homes from varying degrees of violence and hostility in their respective states or followed their families as they were children at the time of departure, and live in one of the refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border. One of the men has been in the camp since 2000, some 16 years that has been filled with a longing to return to some semblance of normalcy. Unfortunately he was gone when the UN came to issue Thai documentation and so was left behind as those sought work elsewhere with their new IDs and a chance at freedom. When asked what the hardest part of living in a refugee camp was they mentioned the lack of jobs, doing any kind of business and just going about day to day activities. However they do appreciate the free health facilities, training and education, which would be difficult to access without a fair amount of funds in Myanmar.

Interns examine a broken fridge.

Photograph by Brittanie McLean

The interns have been involved in in the Vocational Training project since ZOA, 2013 and 2016 respectively; and between them they have completed Motorcycle Repair, Hotel Management, Construction, Computer Skills, Cutting and Electrical Repair courses. Electrical Repair seems to be the favourite, however they enjoyed learning new skills in every course. They would like to see ADRA offer more advanced skill VT courses that build upon the current trainings, as this would expand opportunities even further; and extend the time in order to create more practice sessions to cement the knowledge and skills.

The team are thoroughly enjoying their time at shop, finding nothing they dislike and every task approached with positive attitudes. The job involves repairing washing machines, fridges and other small electrical appliances; anything that is too difficult they observe. There are so many electrical devices it would be nearly impossible to learn everything in one month (the length of the internship), and so one of the interns has chosen to focus on one or two items to get well accustomed to repairing them. After the internship they plan to study more and figure out ways to deal with the supply and demand of parts; which is difficult to acquire in the camps. Future goals include opening electrical businesses and finding permanent places to call home outside of camp. We hope these goals can be accomplished with the help of ADRAs training programs.

Interns from Mae La Refugee Camp.

Photograph by Brittanie McLean

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner

Saw Htoo first joined ADRAs Vocational Training project in recent years, where she participated in the Cooking course. The course taught her hygienic food handling skills and how to make an assortment of Thai and Burmese dishes, including Padka Pow, Ejakway, Doughnuts, Cookies and Chicken Osa Rice. Before the course, she had never used flour. Now she uses it daily.

She chose to learn about cooking and baking as she previously ran a small Tea shop in Myanmar, and was familiar with customer service and running a food/beverage establishment. Now Saw Htoo has a greater understanding; and this has enabled her to open her own bakery with the help of her family.

“I can support my family with the bakery” mentioned Saw Htoo. “Before I had to buy from others to sell at a higher price. Now I can save money by making myself and get more profit”. The bakery finances help to pay for school fees for her two boys, the eldest of whom is now at University in Myanmar where he studies Business, and the general costs of living for the whole family. If she didn’t have these skills she might have to get work outside the camp in the fields in poor conditions. Her business has daily orders for specific dishes that they go and deliver around the camp, which her family helps to prepare and transport.

Saw Htoo was forced to flee Myanmar when the Government started investigating allegations that they were involved with the KNU, a rebel group of Karenese fighters. Her sister had moved away to another country but the official family registration stated she was supposed to be living with them and thus the whole family was suspected of conspiring against the Government. If they didn’t leave they were sure to be arrested for crimes they didn’t commit. Saw Htoo had already lost her parents and two brothers, and did not want to lose anyone else, and so her husband, son, and sisters family made their way over to Thailand and into the Om Piom Refugee Camp; the other four siblings remaining in Myanmar but in better circumstances than they had. She hopes that she can stay in Thailand and make business here, and send her boys to good schools, especially her son who has never known another way of life outside the camp because he was born a refugee. Most of all she would like to thank ADRA for their project. “Myanmar has no VT, when I come to Thailand I get skills to support my family, Thankyou ADRA”.

Saw Htoo outside her shop with some of her special order items.

Photography by Brittanie McLean

Some of the food they make at store (Samosas & Ejakway).

A traditional woodfire is used to create these delicious treats