World Refugee Day is on the 20th of June. Over the next few days we will highlight two short stories on refugee children to help us catch a glimpse into their very challenging life experiences. We hope that these stories will help us not only to understand, but also to act –

Mu Sar* is a 15 year old girl who lived in the northern regions of Myanmar. Due to poverty, she has stopped schooling and was regularly helping her father in a nearby farm. August 2009 her father was arrested for some unknown charges. On the same day her father was arrested, she was also taken by the military to their camp on pretext that her father wanted to see her. When she reach the camp grounds, she was instead locked in a room and was raped by a high ranking officer.

The next morning, while the officers were on duty, she somehow managed to escape and ran to her aunty who lived in a nearby village. Fearing that she will be arrested by the military, her aunty borrowed some money from her neighbours and paid for an agent to help Mu Sar out of Myanmar. The agent passed her to another agent who then repeatedly raped her while she was in Bangkok for two weeks. She then taken to the Thai border and was made to walk for two days in the jungle until she crossed over into Malaysia. At the Malaysian border, she was put into a car boot together with two other persons and was driven to Kuala Lumpur. In Kuala Lumpur, she was passed to a third agent who molested several times until she managed to escaped and found her way to a Kachin community living in Kuala Lumpur.

Mu Sar is currently being cared for by her older cousin. She attends a nearby community school regularly. All her teachers have commented that she is very bright and enthusiastic about learning new things. She sees herself as a survivor and wants to make a difference to the community around her.

*Name has been changed to protect her identity.