Humanity & Inclusion was set up in Thailand in 1982 by two French doctors. It started out trying to help the refugees living in camps set up along the border with Cambodia, offering orthopaedic fitting to people with disabilities or those who had lost limbs as a result of landmine accidents. By 1984, Humanity & Inclusion was also helping refugees from Myanmar, and soon Thailand, who had also fallen victim to anti-personnel landmines. These activities in the country led to the opening of fifteen orthopaedic fitting workshops, which now form part of Thailand’s network of provincial hospitals.
In 1996, the organisation focused its action on nine Burmese refugee camps and on the neighbouring Thai villages. It enhances the self-reliance of people with disabilities by supplying locally-produced prostheses and adapted devices (orthoses, crutches, walkers, special seats, etc.). Physiotherapy is offered to victims of anti-personnel mines, to children with cerebral palsy, and to adults who have suffered a stroke. Humanity & Inclusion continues to pursue these actions in five of the nine camps for refugees from Myanmar in Thailand.
Pending the clearance of landmines from the border areas between Myanmar and Thailand, Humanity & Inclusion is raising refugees’ awareness of the dangers posed by mines and other explosive remnants of war. These awareness-raising actions should reduce the risks they face when they return to Myanmar in the future.
Since 2016 and for a period of four years, the organisation is also implementing the Growing Together project, supported by IKEA Foundation, which aims to develop accessible and secure play areas for children in refugee camps in Thailand, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This project will enable 13,000 children with and without disabilities to play, learn and grow up together in a secure and inclusive environment.
The organisation also runs a social inclusion project for refugees with disabilities from Myanmar, improving their access to the various services on offer in the camps. As a result, people with disabilities now have access to education, vocational training and primary health care.