07/ Nov/ 2016
After struggling years in abroad, 38 years old Naw is now happy to reunite with her family with the help of Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).Naw lived in Palaw Township, Myeik District, Tanintharyi Region. When she was only 14 years old, she went to Thailand in 1991 with five of her friends to earn more money to support her family. During the first five years, she lived in Thailand and had regular contact with her family and was able to support them. However, when she moved to a new job in 1996, her health deteriorated. Naw became broke as she was not healthy enough to get a good job so that her income was very low. As a consequence, she absolutely lost contact with her family for twenty years (1995 – 2015).At one point, she was arrested and detained at a Women’s Detainee Camp in Kanjanaburi Province. After Naw has released, a Non-Government Organization looked after her and helped her to get an access to medical assistance. In January 2015, Naw met the Red Cross, and was offered to re-connect with her family through Red Cross Message service. The Red Cross Message was sent to her family Myanmar by a Red Cross Volunteer on 12 May 2015. Naw told the Red Cross that her greatest desire was to return home, and so the Red Cross in Myanmar and International Committee of the Red Cross in Thailand began working together to reunite her with her family. The Red Cross Restoring Family Links Team went to the Three Pagoda Cross Border Gate at Kyainseikgyi Township, where they met with Naw and the Red Cross team from Thailand.Together with Naw, they travelled to her village in Palaw Township, Tanintharyi Region. The family had a happy reunion on 10 November 2015. At first sight, Naw and her mother looked at each other in astonishment, they could not speak. At first, having been separated for 20 years, they were not able to recognize each other.Then Naw said “Mom, it’s me!”, “Don’t you recognize me?” Her mother said “Naw, you are now all grown up and so I did not recognise you .” Then they embraced each other in a bear-hug and cried together. Everyone was very happy, delighted and clapping. “What a great service!” said the officer of the Township Administration Department, “I believed that Red Cross can help many more families who had been separated like Naw and her family”. “Thank you Red Cross,” said Naw and her mother. After 20 years they were finally together again. Ongoing health care will be provided to Naw, with the help of the Red Cross, the Township Medical Officer and Médecins Sans Frontières.Have you lost contact with a family member?Families who are missing their loved ones abroad can contact their local Red Cross or Myanmar Red Cross Society HQ in their area for assistance.