Pwe is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her husband, her older brother, her daughter and her grandson in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Since they came to the refugee camp, Pwe teaches at one of the primary schools and she earns 1,060 baht (approx. 35 USD) per month. She has a resourceful family: Her daughter teaches piano on a keyboard, and she earns around 2,000 baht (approx. 67 USD) per month. Her older brother is a carpenter who earns income when someone commissions a piece of furniture. When he does have work, he will earn around 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Pwe’s grandson is a nursery school student in the refugee camp. Her son-in-law went back to Burma to visit his parents in 2019. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, he has been unable to come back to the refugee camp since then. All together, they work hard to make finances meet their day to day needs.
The doctors at our medical partner’s care center, Mae Sot General Hospital (MSGH), have diagnosed Pwe with a cataract in her left eye. Currently, Pwe cannot see people’s faces and she can only perceive light out of her left eye. With her right eye, she can see things that are near, but nothing that’s far away. She received a pair of eyeglasses from the doctor at MSGH after her first visit, which helps her see better with her right eye but if she does not wear the eyeglasses, she cannot read or teach her students.
Fortunately, on February 23rd, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Pwe’s natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and go back to teaching her students without difficulty. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund Pwe’s treatment.
She said, “Since the vision in my left eye worsened, I feel uncomfortable reading and teaching. Sometimes, I ask my daughter, who also graduated from high school in the refugee camp, to teach in my place as I cannot read or prepare my lesson plans.”