Ban Pa Khae is a village of 28 settled households very close to Thailand’s border with Myanmar. As our team was working on constructing a new WASH system for the village, fighting on the other side of the border led to an influx of refugees into the area. The conflict on the other side of the border is rarely in international news, but it is ongoing and there are ongoing humanitarian consequences for those fleeing into Thailand as well as an impact on the Thailand’s Karen people who live in these border areas.
Our team spent a month in the village, and we spoke with Mr Jaiin, a farmer from the village and father of two daughters.
What difficulties have him and his family faced living in Ban Pa Khae
My daughters are studying to become nurses and my wife and I works are farmers. I was unable to go on to higher education because we could not afford it. Our livelihood is farming and it is how we survive.
I have lived in this village for twenty years. We don’t have electricity and use solarcells for power, and the roads to the village have not improved much in the years. We have collected water with bamboo and this water system is something we have needed for a long time! We do not have enough water in the summer months and just about enough during the rainy season.
How have KHT helped you and your village?
KHT has helped us build a water system that brings water to our village and this water will be available for us all year round and is cleaner than the water we collect right now. We feel so grateful for your support. This system will help us have more water to use and will help our health too. You coming here will make so much different for us now and in the future.
What would you like to share about your life and Karen culture?
We live very harmoniously, we care about each other. We are mostly Christian in this village, but share many traditions with other Karen people. We believe in taking care of our land and the forest.
I have many hopes for the future, and I hope we will have better roads and electricity and I will be able to help my daughters more too.
KHT’s support in Ban Pa Khae was greatly received and appreciated. It is also helpful to the village that we were able to complete our project before the refugee crisis in the area began. With the presence of more people, it is much more difficult to gain permission to safely work in the area. The water system will greatly support the village and will also likely help some of the refugees that have settled there too.
Many villages close to the border have been chronically under-developed and forgotten because they are in a precarious location. However, KHT is hoping to return to Ban Pa Khae when it is more secure and provide them with a flood resistant irrigation system and school bus route too. We need your help to continue to support forgotten villages like Ban Pa Khae. Each project helps ease burdens on families and provide a vital form of support that helps multiple generations in their daily well being!