Mae La refugee camp is very large and contains many neighborhoods. People usually go to whichever seamstress lives closest.

What We See

I took this photo to show nature's beauty.

Water Line

We've lined up our buckets. When they turn on the water we will fill them.

Mobile Clinics

In Burma, Karen people cannot go to the hospital. We have a few mobile clinics like this one which brave people supply with medicine from Thailand. It is very dangerous for them because they must hike through the mountains for many days and if they are caught they can be tortured and killed.


This child is being treated at the mobile clinic.


No one expected our conflict to last so long. Now we even have colleges like this one for the children who grow up in the refugee camps.


Every summer we repair our homes in preparation for the monsoons.

Roof Panels

We build our roofs from leaves. They last us three or four years and then we have to build a new roof.

Self Defense

We all hope the fighting will end. However we cannot give up because we have to defend our people. Burmese soldiers commit crimes like torture, rape and forced labor. Since no one else protects us from them we must protect ourselves.

Snake Bake

Once the fire is ready, he will cook this snake.

Cooking on Stone

When our villages are attacked, we flee into the forest. We usually cook inside caves so the Burmese soldiers cannot see the smoke.

Karen Bag

Our traditional Karen bag is handmade from cotton. In the villages we use the bag to carry betel nut, pipes, tins of rice and other things we need.


Children wander around the camp looking for old water bottles and other recyclables. When they have enough they can sell them.


We always need school supplies. When our Karen Student Network Group (KSNG) receives donations we distribute them to thousands of students in refugee camps and in Karen State.