Voices from the Field – IRC Blog

International Rescue Committee (IRC) Refugee, Staff & Volunteer Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Thailand’

Vote for two important refugee projects

Posted by The IRC on 28 August, 2008

American Express members project banner
The IRC is supporting two projects nominated for the American Express “Members Project,” a charitable giving contest.Please vote to get them into the top 25 where they’ll have a chance for a share of $2.5 million in funding from American Express.

Malaria Prevention for Refugees in Thailand
Providing bed nets and other simple and cost-effective malaria control activities to significantly reduce the incidence of malaria among Burmese refugees in Thailand.
Vote for this project >

Refugee Career Development
Providing career development activities to increase job readiness, job retention and earning potential for newly arrived refugees in the U.S.
Vote for this project >

The deadline is next Monday, September 1, so please click now and vote!


Posted in Asia, health, howtohelp, refugees, UnitedStates | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

First Lady meets Burmese refugees, IRC staff in Thailand [Photo Share]

Posted by Kate Sands Adams on 8 August, 2008

Laura Bush meets with IRC staff in Thailand
Photo: The IRC
Yesterday, First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Barbara visited a refugee camp in Thailand where the International Rescue Committee works to support Burmese refugees. Kay Bellor, the head of the IRC’s Overseas Processing Entity office, which assists people seeking admission to the United States as refugees, gave them a guided tour.

Laura Bush and Barbara Bush meet Burmese refugees IRC photo

Mrs. Bush also sat in on meetings with Burmese refugees who are being considered for resettlement in the U.S. and joined a send-off for families who were leaving the camp to begin new lives in South Carolina.

Thanks to IRC colleagues in Thailand who shared these photos.

Posted in Asia, refugees | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thailand: Learning about America [Photo Share]

Posted by Kate Sands Adams on 17 June, 2008

Kids in Thailand listening to a talk about refugee resettlement in the US
Photo: Dow/The IRC
Here’s a photo from my colleague Dow in Thailand, where the International Rescue Committee’s Overseas Processing Entity office in Bangkok assists people seeking admission to the United States as refugees:

“I took this photo at Ban Mai Nai Soi camp in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand, which just became eligible for the U.S. refugee resettlement program this year.

The kid was drawing a USA flag on the ground while listening to our information session about US resettlement. The info sessions were organized for camp residents to learn about the program and about America, so that they can make an informed decision whether or not to apply when the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) starts registering interested refugees next month.  

Refugees also get a chance to ask questions and express their concerns in the sessions.”

Posted in Asia, children, photos, refugees, UnitedStates | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

16 Days – IRC Events Around the World

Posted by Wynne Boelt on 5 December, 2007

Stop Violence sign - Thailand
Stop Violence – Thailand  Photo: The IRC
IRC offices in the United States and around the world arranged a wide range of events and activities to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign held from November 25 to December 10.


In Liberia, the IRC’s Gender-based Violence program created The Women’s Voices Project to give women and girls a chance to use their voices for social change. Ann Jones, writer, photographer and long-time women’s advocate, will be blogging the project next month (but you can read her posts from the Cote d’ Ivoire project right now).


In Pakistan, the IRC organized events for the community and IRC staff through a variety of awareness campaigns that involved many IRC programs, including health and education. The IRC also held counseling sessions relating to violence against women. Plus an Islamic scholar discussed the prohibition of violence against women.

Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, the IRC worked to generate national, regional and local awareness on the newly enacted Gender Acts, which are three laws designed to improved women’s lives, and lobbied the Sierra Leonean government and local leaders to commit to addressing violence against women and implementing the acts. Activities included training traditional leaders on the acts, a radio discussion, a fundraiser for a victims’ fund.


In Sudan, the IRC decided to make this year’s campaign theme, “Community Participation to End Violence Against Women.” As part of the campaign, IRC events included radio programs, stage performances, symposiums on protecting women, and workshops on human rights.


In Thailand, the IRC created ten teams of IRC staff to reach out to schools, Drug Abuse Resistance Education centers that help alcohol and substance abusers, and other sections of society to raise awareness about violence against women during the campaign. Some of the teams’ activities included art workshops, essay competitions, ethnic fashion shows, volleyball games, dramas and debates.

Posted in Africa, Asia, women | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

From Burma to the Bronx & Beyond [Voices from the Archive]

Posted by Kate Sands Adams on 17 August, 2007

Mo Nom Tee Kham
Photo: Jennifer Macfarlane for the IRC
This was our very first video podcast series, a five-part interview with Burmese refugee Mo Nom Tee Kham that originally ran from May to June 2007. For an update, listen to this interview with Mo Nom on WNYC radio’s The Leonard Lopate Show.

At 20, Mo Nom Tee Kham can trace a life’s journey few others can. When she was just 12 her family fled their native Burma to Thailand, where Mo Nom moved from an orphanage to a refugee camp and worked low paying jobs as an undocumented immigrant. With help from the International Rescue Committee, she and her family resettled in New York three years ago. Now she’s studying on a merit scholarship at Dickinson College, where her favorite class is Education and Democracy. The IRC’s Emily Holland interviewed her on campus.

Part 1
In the first episode of a new IRC podcast series, Mo Nom tells the story of her family’s life in Burma and flight across the border: Her father, a pro-democracy activist who had been arrested by Burma’s ruling military junta, told her that he had won the lottery and that the family was going to ‘go for a vacation in Thailand.’

Part 2
Mo Nom learns from her father that the family’s ‘vacation’ in Thailand may just be permanent. Not long afterward, she’s separated from her parents and experiences first-hand the wrenching uncertainties of life as a refugee.

Part 3
Mo Nom’s family learns that they have been selected to resettle in the United States and that New York City will be their new home. Mo Nom describes the one ‘crazy’ week the family had to take care of medical checkups and other formalities, finish final exams at school, and pack their belongings to leave.

Part 4
Mo Nom’s family arrives in New York. Of her first week in the city, Mo Nom recalls feeling like she was dreaming, but by the second week she could already imagine building a life there. ‘Wow–we finally have a home,’ she says. ‘we don’t have to be scared anymore.’

Part 5
Mo Nom describes the opportunities life in the United States has presented her. ‘You have this beautiful country. You have free education. You have this high school system. You have everything you need. You should take advantage of it–go for it.’ She talks about life as a college student and her plans to use her education to help people, perhaps back in Burma. ‘I want to change my country,’ she says, ‘which is a big dream.’

Posted in Asia, education, refugees, UnitedStates, video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »