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MBE for helping Burmese refugees in Thailand

Sally Thompson, Deputy Director of the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), a Christian Aid partner organisation, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for her work with displaced people from Burma.

Sally has worked for TBBC for 19 years.  TBBC is a consortium of 12 international non-governmental agencies, including Christian Aid, which has provided food and shelter to refugees on the Thai-Burma border for the past 25 years.

‘This is a very proud moment, both personally, and for TBBC,’ said Sally. ‘It is great recognition for everyone who has worked, and continues to work, to make a difference to the lives of the refugees, helping them to live their lives in dignity although they have been forced to flee their homes.’

An estimated 145,000 Burmese refugees currently live in nine camps on the Thai side of the border. Many have been there for more than two decades. A resettlement programme has allowed several thousand refugees to move to third countries but the flow of people continues across the border each year as others seek safety from the threat of violence and insecurity.

TBBC provides food and shelter which is managed and distributed in the camps by the camp residents. The consortium also helps refugees become more self-reliant by encouraging them to grow their own food and obtain vocational training in fields such as weaving, agriculture and small business management.

Christian Aid has supported the consortium since 1985 and has also helped secure funds from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID).

‘The international community has a responsibility to help people such as these, seeking asylum in a foreign country from appalling human rights abuses at home. I hope this award helps raises awareness of the scale of human suffering involved, not just here, but in many other conflicts,’ said Ray Hasan, Christian Aid’s head of region for South-East Asia.

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If you would like further information, please contact Jo Rogers on +44 207 523 2460 of jrogers@christian-aid.org

Notes to Editors:

Sally is due to receive the award on Friday 9th July

For more information and a slideshow on TBBC’s work, please see http://www.christianaid.org.uk/whatwedo/partnerfocus/tbbc.aspx

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

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