We arrived in one of the camps in the evening. One of the camp leaders came to speak with us, a soft-spoken, lean man. When asked what the biggest need was for his village his answer was surprising. He said, “our people here are poor and we don’t have enough to eat, but we will make it. There are some other people, however, that I want to tell you about.” He went on to tell us about 11 villages in the surrounding areas, just over 1000 people. Their rice crops had failed last year, or were destroyed.
These Internally Displaced People (IDP's) come into his camp to ask for food and, he says, "in our camp, we want to help, but we don’t even have enough to feed ourselves.”
A side note, something to keep in mind… Rice is essential. It is what they survive on. It is not a side dish, slathered with butter and seasonings, or a filler for their meals...it is what sustains them. They do not eat three times a day, oftentimes not even two, and now these villages were running out of this staple entirely.
this link to find out more…and this link to donate. Your donation will go directly to these 1000 villagers who are facing at least 6 months (until the next rice harvest) of starvation. A generous donor has agreed to match any donations from the U.S., so you can double your money…and help to feed these families.
Oddny (that is who we were traveling with, Oddny Gumaer, co-founder of Partners, she is pretty amazing) asked the camp leader if we could meet some of the newest people in his camp, so that we could hear their stories, find out where they came from and learn more about what the situation was in the jungle of Burma. The next morning, our shelter was full of newcomers who shared with us their stories…