Humanity & Inclusion’s teams and the disability self-help group visited the most isolated families in the Umpiem Mai refugee camp in Thailand to give individuals information on the threat from COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves from it.
Ma Yin Maung, 37, who has an intellectual disability was initially very worried about the epidemic: "I didn't even dare leave my home to buy food,” she says. “I was scared and couldn't get straightforward information about it.”
The information she received from Humanity & Inclusion’s teams reassured her immediately. Our teams also gave her a hygiene kit with two masks, soap, and small posters about the virus.
“After Humanity & Inclusion’s information session, I felt confident enough to walk around the camp wearing a mask and buy items I need every day. HI also gave me a prevention kit, which is extremely useful for me and my family," she adds.
Focus on the most vulnerable
As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, Humanity & Inclusion donors ensure that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--they need to stay healthy. Learn more about Humanity & Inclusion's vast COVID-19 response.
Augustine Moo, 8, was born with cleft lip, leaving his parents in a tough situation to handle while raising four other children in very basic circumstances in the Thai temporary shelter camp where the Burmese family found shelter ten years ago. Augustine was a shy and insecure boy. That is, until he met Humanity & Inclusion.
Due to his lip, Augustine had difficulties communicating. For many years, he was mocked by other children and felt isolated and lonely. The teasing got better after Augustine’s surgery, but what really helped was his participation in the Growing Together children’s club, organized by Humanity & Inclusion. “In that club, Augustine developed communicative skills and learned how to engage in relationships with other children”, says his mother Ree Mah. Today, he is more confident which has made a positive impact on his friendships. Since starting the club, he has made some good friends. “So far, only boys,” Augustine adds, smiling shyly. “Sometimes I don’t know how to behave among all those girls.”
Attending the Growing Together club has also had a big impact on his schooling. “Because of his isolation, Augustine wasn’t motivated at school, but now he’s more confident and really keen to perform well and catch up. I’m home tutoring him and now he’s the third best student of his class,” says his proud mother.
Growing Together Project
Growing Together is a four-year project in Thailand, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and is funded by the IKEA Foundation. Humanity & Inclusion is creating inclusive spaces where children can come together–through play–to work through some of the challenges they face, especially children with disabilities. In addition to inclusive playgrounds, Growing Together will target the youngest children who are at risk of developmental problems. Simultaneously, the program will engage local child development service providers and help them become more responsive to the needs of boys and girls with disabilities and other vulnerable children. Learn more about the partnership.
Ten-year-old Sanda Aung fled her home in Myanmar and now lives in small bamboo house in Umpiem refugee camp in Thailand. Her parents are too poor to send her to school and the only time she ever gets to be a child is when she attends play activities organized by HI.Read more
As part of the Growing Together project, supported by the IKEA Foundation, Handicap International promotes early detection, stimulation, and rehabilitation sessions for children to prevent the onset of disabilities and improve their living conditions in refugee camps in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Pakistan. Our teams teach parents, caregivers, and community volunteers how to stimulate young children and promote healthy habits through play and daily activities.Read more
In June 2015, four-year-old Djamila’s life changed. Handicap International teams were searching the Mae La refugee camp in Thailand for people with disabilities who needed help when they heard about her case and tracked her down. Born with spina bifida, with paralysis in her lower limbs, Djamila could not walk. Thanks to our donors, she received braces and physical therapy, allowing her to stand tall.
A sister's hope
Sahida takes her role seriously as big sister. She accompanies Djamila to her rehabilitation sessions with Handicap International and supports her as she walks. “I know the road is long, but I hope that she will one day walk to school like the other children her age,” Sahida explains
First of many
Djamila’s family recently watched as she took her first steps. As she grows, Djamila will need newly adapted braces, but for now she’s mobile and can look forward to an active future on her own two feet.Read more
For the past few decades, Thailand has been a major destination country for asylum seekers and refugees from Myanmar. Since 1984, Thailand has provided refuge to people fleeing violence in Myanmar, and more recently to economic migrants. The population in the Thai refugee camps, located along the Myanmar-Thailand border, is now estimated at 111,000 people. Many were born in the camps and have never set foot outside.Read more
Humanity & Inclusion is committed to supporting people who are fleeing conflict and natural disaster. Whether they are sheltering within their own countries or residing in countries of first asylum as refugees, our teams are hard at work providing basic and specific aid to people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. Read about our work with refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) as well as our other projects in the 11 countries below.
This life-saving work is possible thanks to the generous support of our donors, as well as key funding agencies such as the U.S. Department of State, IKEA Foundation, among others.