Through the Eyes of a Refugee - The Story of N-Jawn Kaw Ja

“We ran away from the jungle; we didn’t bring anything,” N-Jawn Kaw Ja, a 48-year-old displaced mother of five told UNHCR staff monitoring the well-being of internally #displaced people (#IDPs) here recently. She is one of the 18,000 people #UNHCR has assisted in #Myanmar’s remote Kachin state, since October 2011.

When her village was burned down during the fighting last October, N-Jawn Kaw Ja and her husband grabbed two of their daughters, aged four and eight, and ran to their farmland in the jungle.

But a few weeks later, her husband was killed after stepping on a landmine when he went out to tend his crops. Soon after, she walked an entire day with the two young girls and some neighbors to reach the Myitkyina camp for IDPs, where her two teenage girls also sought shelter.

Her 28-year-old son was already there, out of his mind with grief over his father’s death. “My son did not believe that his father died, because he did not see his dead body,” the woman said. “His behavior changed when I told him. He’s no longer normal. He had to go to the hospital.”

The UN Refugee Agency provided a new home for N-Jawn Kaw Ja. “The cups, plates and shelter provided by UNHCR have been very useful for us,” she said. Most important, though, is feeling safe. “There is nobody left in my village,” she said. “I am not ready to go back home because I am afraid.”

Hugging eight-year-old daughter Lauwa Zaza Law as she talked to a visiting UNHCR staff member outside her new house, she added: “The fear that I have inside of me is still there.”

Help refugee mothers like N-Jawn Kaw Ja open the door to a new future.
N-Jawn Kaw Ja did not choose for her family to become #refugees, forced from home, family and everything they have ever known. Yet 43.7 million people around the world find themselves in this exact position. Everyday doors have been closed to them.

Since 1950, the UN Refugee Agency has opened more than 50 million doors to a new life for refugees worldwide. Your support will open one more. Take action now:

Source: UNHCR/bluekeyblog