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They work abroad to feed their families. Now they can't send the money home

June 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21.7%. 2 min read.

Su and her husband are among the 1.7 million Myanmar nationals working in neighboring Thailand, according to the Migrant Workers Group, and part of a vital network of overseas workers who support relatives at home.

"I left him with my mum," said the Myanmar migrant worker, 26, who is living in Thailand.

Then the February 1 coup in Myanmar intensified that separation, with military-imposed internet and mobile network blackouts often making calls home impossible, she said.

"Normally, when I send money back home my family is able to get the cash out the next day," Su said.

Su and her husband are among the 1. 7 million Myanmar nationals working in neighboring Thailand, according to the Migrant Workers Group, and part of a vital network of overseas workers who support relatives at home.

"I want to be based back in Myanmar to work, as we have so many difficulties working in other countries and I want to live with my family back home, too," she said.

Before the coup, Christina's older brother would usually send home from Thailand up to $240 a month, which his family of 10 relied on for food and medicine.

Christina, who is using a pseudonym for security reasons, said the family had to leave their home in Mindat town, in Myanmar's southern Chin state, when fighting started there.

Wai, who also uses a pseudonym for safety reasons, said his brother is working in Thailand and used to send $150 to $180 a month home to his elderly mother who lives alone in her village.

Her father, she said, worked as a public relations organizer for the National League for Democracy (NLD), the democratically elected party thrown from power by the military coup.

His wife works in a textile factory but he said his 85-year-old mother is too frail to join them from her village in Myanmar's Mandalay region.

"I am very sad and worried about my family," he said, adding that most of those living in villages are daily wage laborers and struggle to make ends meet.

Staring at a photo of one of the victims on his phone, he said: "I'm worried not just for my family but for the whole country.

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by summa-bot

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