Daw Kaw* is one of the tens of thousands of vulnerable people who has lost everything due to the ongoing conflict in Kachin state in northern Myanmar.
The 42-year-old widow and her five children were forced from their home in Hpa Re village, Kachin province when a bomb dropped near their house while she was cooking, partially destroying it. Afraid for her family and her own wellbeing, they left, and have been living in the Border Point 6 internally displaced persons (IDP) camp, just on the Chinese border, for over a year.
‘We decided to send ShelterBoxes to Myanmar following our visit to Kachin in March where we discussed plans with local and international non-governmental organisations, United Nations, and government ministers for the distribution of emergency shelter,’ said ShelterBox Operations Coordinator Alison Ashlin.
‘Our implementing partner the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) has been overseeing ShelterBox distributions to vulnerable families affected by the humanitarian crisis, like Daw Kaw and her children.’
The ShelterBoxes have replaced previous dwellings in the IDP camp that consisted of stick walls covered partially with plastic sheets and a plastic sheet roof.
‘Don’t feel the wind’
‘I don’t feel the wind blow and it’s much warmer inside than my previous shelter,’ said Daw Kaw.
Kachin is Myanmar’s coldest province. It even snows in the colder months. ACTED staff used a thermometer that showed there was an eight degree Celsius difference inside the ShelterBox tent from outside.
Daw Kaw also used to cook inside her old dwelling, which caused lots of smoke. She was pleased there was a tidy area prepared outside her new tent for cooking.
As well as the disaster relief tents, households at the camp also received other essential ShelterBox aid items like blankets, ground sheets and water filtration systems, bringing them shelter, warmth and protection.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the family