On World Refugee Day, we want to introduce you to a family, a relationship we've had the priviledge of developing for a year now. Our friends come from Sri Lanka and have been living in Bangkok since 2009—exchanging one traumatic experience for another. Civil war forced their family to flee their country and go to Thailand.
"When I was in Sri Lanka, I faced many problems with civil war in my hometown."
Like many refugee families who come to Bangkok, they submitted their application for refugee status only to be rejected by the UNHCR—leaving them unable to return home and no hope for getting resettled.
"We registered at UNHCR Thailand in 2009. Unfortunately, we were rejected in 2011. We tried through many churches, humanitarian organizations, and humanitarian people too, to sponsor us or resettle us in another country but we didn't get any favorable responses."
Immersing themselves in Thai culture for the last 10-years, the family has had to live on survival mode—depending on the generosity of others to survive. The parents receive some financial support for their son's tuition and help out at the school, allowing them to enroll their daughter too.
It's uncertain what the future holds for our friends who still hope to one day get resettled, but they are at least finding comfort in knowing they are not alone.
"Sometimes God listen to our prayer then send help like sister Mina and Creative Life Foundation. Before we don't kow about them. This is one of the hope for us."
Since expanding the ways Creative Life Foundation supports urban refugees in 2021, Mina, CLF's project leader, has made around 200 food deliveries to 43 refugee families—140 individuals. She has distributed educational materials to 52 children, and supports 1 family with supplemental income every month.