Today we visited a school for Burmese migrant worker's children. The actual school house was destroyed in a storm a few weeks ago. When we arrived the headmaster and students were playing soccer in a large field where the school once stood. The school would cost $6,000 to rebuild but they have no way of raising the money. If you want to donate to their school please let us know. In the soccer field we met a man who had just come from Karen State three days ago. His village had been damaged by the cyclone and there were no signs of relief coming anytime soon. Tomorrow he will travel back to his village in Karen State to assess the damage. When he returns to the Thailand border, our friends will email and tell us what it looks like in there.
Karen State is the homeland of the ethnic Karen. For the last 50 years they have been fighting a bloody civil war against the Burmese military government. The Burma Army has recently escalated its offensive against the Karen civilian population. The latest offensive started in February 2006 and so far an estimated 20,000 people have been forced from their homes and displaced.
In the soccer field we met two displaced kids who are also newcomers to the Thai-Burma border. They traveled from Karen State to attend the school. They had made the arduous journey with 23 others. However they traveled dangerous roads and their vehicle toppled over a cliff. Three people died, the rest of the group returned home. The two teenagers were the only ones to make it to Thailand. They are the two boys on the left.