So close to home and yet so far

Published on Monday 11 December 2017

There are currently around 100,000 inernally displaced persons (IDPs) living across Kachin State in Myanmar. They have been displaced from their homes due to a close proximity war, which resumed in 2011 between the Myanmar armed forces and the Kachin Independence Army.

Many of the Kachin IDPs live in camps as close as 30 miles away from their villages, but have not been able to access their homes for over six years. Htoi Ja, a Kachin IDP living in Pan Khar Kone camp in Bhamo since 2013, has agreed to show us around her shelter and tell us about her life in the camp.

Displaced by force

Htoi Ja is 36 years old and came from Mung Ding Pa village in Kachin State. She arrived in the camp in 2013 after fighting broke out in her village. She wakes up at 4am every day to start work but also to support her family of 6 and mother in law. When she first arrived, she thought there was not enough electricity and infrastructure but now, things have improved, and there are a lot more toilets. Htoi Ja would like to go back to her village where she had security but she does not know when this will be. For now, she has to stay in the camp. She says that her first priority is her children’s education.

Operational in Kachin since 2012, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL intervenes to cover the needs of 26,600 conflict-affected people in 16 camps and 14 villages in southern Kachin. From its base in Bhamo, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL developes water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as food security and livelihoods activities.

With support from the European Union, the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund and the French Comité Interministériel d’aide alimentaire (CIAA).

  • 54.4 million inhabitants
  • 149th out of 191 countries on the Human Development Index
  • 178.000 people helped

Photos & video credits: © David Shaw / SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL

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