Testimonies from refugee families in Bangkok following emergency aid due to Covid
Mai Yee and her 2 brothers, Yu Leng Me and Yu Peng, are part of a family with 8 children. They belong to the Hmong ethnic group, of Christian faith, and are illegal refugees in Bangkok. The 8 children live with their mother, their father having been arrested 8 years ago and sent back to Vietnam, their native country, without being able to give any more news. “Thank you to our donors for their help. We live here illegally, we haven’t had an income for 3 months, we can’t buy rice, nor pay rent or medicine for our mother. Your help allows us to survive. We cannot give anything in return, so we are simply saying thank you.”
Lee is eleven years old, her family is of Hmong origin. She was born in Petchabun refugee camp in Thailand and lived there for 7 years before her family was sent back to Laos. Lee and her mother then illegally returned to Thailand 3 years later. As a cleaning lady, her mother not being able to work for 3 months was a hard blow. “Thanks to this additional aid, I will finally be able to pay the rent. The owner has been understanding but I have always been scared that we would end up being evicted.”
Thavong and his family are Hmong, originally from Vietnam. Having to stay at home during quarantine, it was impossible for his parents to work. The mother, aged thirty, says “when the school was open, children were entitled to lunch. Now there isn’t school anymore, we just have one or two meals a day. Thanks to your donation, we will be able to pay our rent and buy rice and milk for our baby. A huge thanks to our donors.”
This family with 4 children comes from Pakistan. They arrived in Bangkok in 2012 with a visa that has now expired. The mother is a cleaning lady and the father works in a clothing factory, which closed during lockdown. The 6 of them had to stay in their one-room accommodation in Bangkok, without being able to work. “Thank you infinitely for your help. The rent costs 5,000 baht (£140) a month with service charges. Without the assistance of our donors we would not have been able to keep our accommodation.”
Ye Har and his brother Pheng are Hmong, originally from Vietnam. Their family fled Vietnam for Thailand, passing through Laos for 3 months. The 7 of them lived in a room in Bangkok. Their father sells chicken in the market, and their mother is a cleaning lady. They were unable to work during quarantine. “Thank you for your donation. We live in Thailand illegally so we are always scared of being arrested. We couldn’t ask for help from the Thai Government. Thank you for your generosity which allows us to get by.”
Thi Sua, aged 12, and A Mong, aged 13, were born in south Vietnam. Accompanied by their parents and brothers, they illegally entered Thailand in 2012 via Laos. They had to pay a smuggler the equivalent of 15,000 baht (425€) per person. The father works on construction sites in Bangkok, however he has not been able to work for 3 months due to Coronavirus. The family is heavily in debt. Donations allowed them to pay their rent and buy rice.
This family is Hmong, originally from Laos. They arrived in Thailand in 2011. Unrecognised in Thailand, they cannot benefit from any government aid for their lack of income over several months. “Thank you for your donation. Without your help, we don’t know how we would’ve gotten by. We had to borrow a lot from relatives, but they are in the same situation as us.”
THE PEOPLE OF SOUTHEAST ASIA NEED YOUR HELP IN THIS UNPRECEDENTED HEALTH CRISIS!