Pawnene, Thoo Mwe Khee
Pawnene, Thoo Mwe Khee Boarding House, Thai-Burmese border
Pawnene (11) is one of fifty children living in Thoo Mwe Khee boarding house on the Thai-Burma border. She is from Maw Ker Tha, a village in Karen State, and has been living in the boarding house for four years now, going home only once or twice a year. Pawnene's father was killed a few weeks before this picture was taken. He was returning home from bringing some bamboo to Thoo Mwe Khee for building, and stepped on a landmine. Being alone, all he could do was crawl towards the village for help, but died on the side of the road before he reached home.
Burma has one of the highest numbers of landmine victims of any country in the world, with an estimated 1,500 killed or injured annually. One of the most distressing facts about landmine injuries is that they often happen to the family breadwinners, men working their crops or herding their livestock. Many would not be fatal excepting that they occur a long way from medical assistance.