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A grandmother's wish


A grandmother's wish

After 18 years in exile, Baw Meh longs for home. On World Refugee Day, she shared her family's story with UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.
22 June 2014
Baw Meh fled Myanmar in 1996. Her grandson Ti Reh was born in exile.

"I thought we would come here and then go straight back home. But we couldn't go back."

Baw Meh, now 75, fled Myanmar's Kayah state in 1996. Eighteen years later, three generations of her Karenni family are still living at Ban Mai Nai Soi refugee camp in northern Thailand.

On World Refugee Day 2014, Baw Meh described their lengthy ordeal to UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, who was making her fourth visit to the refugee camps in Thailand.

Baw Meh spoke of her husband, who died last year before he could fulfil his dream of returning home. Some of their children and grandchildren have been resettled to third countries. Others have chosen to stay. Baw Meh has refused to go, preferring to stay close to her village, which lies across the border, just out of reach.