Celebrating Refugee Week: Paw Nee’s Story

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“Life in a refugee camp is very hard. Many ​people around the world take for granted the freedom to travel and freedom to work” 


Hello, my name is Paw Nee, and this is about life in a refugee camp. Life in a refugee camp is very hard. Many ​people around the world take for granted the freedom to travel and freedom to work. Although refugee camps are hardly natural places to live, thousands have been born in the camps and never left. For many young refugees, refugee camps are where we were born and where we grew up, and the only reality they have ever seen exists within the fences of the camp. Me and my family lived in a refugee camp for a long period of time.


Refugee camps offer safety to people who are running away from danger. However, when you live in a camp you are not allowed to leave at any time.​​“It is so strict to live then. There is nothing to do. There is no job, no work. So much stress and depression. I feel that I am going to go crazy then.”​​ This is not fair because my family was split up. We had aunties, uncles and cousins in other camps. We couldn’t visit them unless we paid the Thai police (a bribe). In Australia you are allowed to go everywhere you can go to shop, you can find a job you can do anything.


When you live in a refugee camp, food is very important. The U.N would give each family a box of food each month. It contained rice, oil, fish paste, beans and flour. This was very good, but we always had to eat the same things every month. If your family had some money, they could buy vegetables and meat like chicken. The chicken was always alive. Also, the fish because we didn’t have a fridge. If your food runs out and you don’t have money you can borrow it from someone who close to you so you can a buy food. In Australia we have everything we need.


There are small schools in a refugee camp. In the camp there are not enough teachers to teach another language, like English so it is very hard to learn. Also, the teacher is not qualified; they didn’t go to university they just finish year 10 and then start teaching a student. But in Australia if you want to be a teacher you must finish university and then you can teach. There is not enough stationary, and no technology and students don’t get a lot of fun at school. But here the school is very fun, and they have everything you need, also the teachers are very lovely and loving students. In than it not like this. Some people can’t afford education for their kids because they don’t have money to pay. This is unfair because the little children have to wait until they get to another country. In Australia, education is very important to everyone, and everyone loves it.



Paw Nee