New project in the making. A dormitory for fifty Karen refugee children in Mae Khlong Mar Village, Northwest of Thailand, run by St Xavier’s Catholic Mission. The dormitory will stand 10 km away from the border with Myanmar, facing directly the areas under armed conflict.

During my stay in MKM, hosted by the hospitality of the Xaverian community, I’ve witnessed two peaks in hostilities, -one involving the Thai Royal Air Force- and subsequent waves of refugees. Fleeing children lack any Gov ID and are regularly kidnapped and ‘vanished’ by transborder mafias, leaving no trace and facing destinies that are too harsh to detail here.
However, I also had chance to see the efforts of the Xaverians in registering the children at local schools and even assisting the luckiest and brightest ones into vocational or higher education.

Unlike St Xavier’s Oratory, built 3 km South, this will be a very practical building made in concrete and breeze bricks, following conventional local standards. We aim to have it concluded before the summer.

The dormitory will be flanked by rows of teak trees (a wood that has turned into a forbidden luxury in the West that happens to grow here in abundance) and, also, sports playgrounds a pond where children will learn how to fish and pick frogs to be cooked for dinner.