VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/10/13)—$5,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) funds have been made available through International Ministries (IM) for emergency needs at the Ban Mae Surin refugee camp on the Thailand-Myanmar (Burma) border after a fatal fire took 36 lives on March 22. The funds will be received and distributed by IM partner, The Border Consortium (TBC).
The victims reportedly included children, elderly and the disabled who were trapped in the fire. An additional 200 people sustained injuries, reported TBC. Over 400 houses were destroyed leaving 2,300 people homeless, while community buildings, schools, clinic and food warehouses were also destroyed, TBC continued.
The Royal Thai Government is leading a coordinated response to the disaster with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and non-governmental organizations, including TBC, providing needed assistance, reported TBC. “We at TBC will support this close community as it struggles to cope with such tremendous losses and grief, by ensuring basic food and shelter needs are met,” TBC added. “An important immediate concern is also to give due respect to families and appropriate religious rites for the victims of this tragedy.”
TBC reports that it will provide necessary assistance in the following areas:
FOOD: Emergency food will be provided for affected families staying in temporary sites or with relatives.
SHELTER: Areas suitable for temporary shelters have been identified. A major site clean-up is underway to remove debris and re-stabilize the burnt land.
FIELD COORDINATION: Coordination meeting was called by the Mae Hong Son Governor with participation by TBC and other agencies, camp commander, camp leaders and the Karenni Refugee Committee. TBC has been assigned as a focal point for shelter and food sectors.
Donations to this relief effort will be gratefully accepted. Please mail a checks payable to International Ministries. Indicate “TBC” on the memo line. Mail to International Ministries, Development Office, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482.
One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received by churches. Learn more: http://www.abc-oghs.org/
The Thai Border Consortium (TBC) is a consortium of 10 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from eight countries. TBC’s head office is in Bangkok with field offices in Mae Hong Son, Mae Sariang, Mae Sot, Umphang and Kanchanaburi. TBC employs 95 staff and is a registered charity in England and Wales. http://theborderconsortium.org/ Photos are from the TBC website.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.