When I was five years old, I had a serious stomach infection. There weren’t any medical facilities in our village. There was only one man who knew how to administer injections.
He injected my both hips. After a week, I could not feel my left leg anymore. The next day it was the other leg.
I haven’t been able to walk ever since.
I was never able to go to school but my mother taught me how to read and write in Kachin, and I had many friends.
In 2011, our village was attacked when a ceasefire broke down. My parents were farming in the hills and my younger brothers were at school. They fled with their teachers, leaving me all alone.
I wept and prayed for a whole day. Finally, one of my uncles came to fetch me and carried me on his back.
I have been living in this camp in Bhamo in northern Myanmar for the last seven years. I cannot move much because someone has to always carry me.
I miss harvest time and Thanksgiving. I still remember the scent of the curries that were prepared at church on these special occasions.
I try my best to help my parents as much as I can. I earn a bit by braiding colored strings for traditional sword scabbards.
I don’t want to get married. I am afraid that my husband would abandon me one day because of my disability.
I wish someone could understand my worries.
But my life changed recently, thanks to UNHCR and its partners.
I got a wheelchair! I was able to go downtown for the first time.
I ate ice cream. I also went shopping. My sister bought me a new denim jacket.
This is wonderful. But I still worry about my future.
Who will take care of me when I am older?
As a result of ongoing conflict in Myanmar’s Kachin State, more than 107,000 people live in camps for the internally displaced. Many camps have few livelihood opportunities and limited access to health care and education.
This photography project, run by UNHCR and Yangon Photo Festival, gives people like Bawk Ra the skills to share their own stories. Bawk Ra has since won an award for these photos – and a brand new Canon camera.