Housing: New house: $600; Annual repairs: $70
Traditionally the refugees built their own homes in Burma using materials in the forest around them such as teak, bamboo and leaves. The refugees are not allowed to collect these natural forest products from around the camps in Thailand and so TBC supplies eucalyptus poles, bamboo, thatch, roofing leaves and nails each year. This is a huge task as the forest products have a limited life; new houses are built for new arrivals and expanding families but every year major repairs have to be carried out on all existing buildings. In order to minimise costs, maximise refugee self-reliance and to preserve traditional skills, the refugees build their own homes. The work is often shared between families and help is given to those such as the elderly who are unable to build their own. This is a communal activity which helps to preserve and strengthen traditional cultural values.
Besides shelter there are many other household items essential for daily living. Cooking stoves, cooking utensils, food containers, sleeping kits, charcoal, clothing, soap and detergent are all needed to make a complete home for a refugee family.
A gift of $600 can provide the materials to construct a reliable house for a refugee family, or a gift of $70 will cover the average annual repair costs of a house while also ensuring that traditional construction skills are preserved amongst the camp populations at the same time minimising the impact of the camps on the local environment.
Read more about The Border Consortium’s Shelter Assistance.