Watch Our Documentary
We’re very proud to share our latest documentary with you. The 13 minute film by Tara Milutis, documents the life of urban refugees suffering in Bangkok. The story includes urgent details on their plight, as discussed by volunteers, and the refugees themselves. We share this moving documentary with the hope it will encourage you to support the work of Courageous Kitchen to work with people similar to those in the film.
Introductory Facts and Quotes on Urban Refugees
“Oui, C’est la vie!… It means that when you fall down, raise up and continue your journey. Do not give up. Never give up.” – Louis (0:05)
Fact #1 Urban Refugee Definition and Shifting Demographics (0:32)
An urban refugee is a refugee who decided, or was obliged to seek asylum in an urban area rather than in a camp based settlement.
About half of the world refugee population under the UNHCR mandate now lives in urban settings. (0:43)
Fact #2 Urban Refugees in Bangkok are Suffering (0:54)
There are an estimated 8,000 urban refugees seeking asylum in Bangkok, Thailand. They are living an isolated life existence with little opportunity for employment or socialization.
Thailand considers all urban refugees as illegal immigrants, even if they have gained UN refugee status. They remain mostly hidden scraping by on odd jobs and donations, waiting in limbo on the fringes of society for another chance at life.
“It’s a very hard life. Can’t find a job. And how can we find the money to pay rent? To buy food? And sometimes we’re sick, where can we get the money to go to the hospital?” – Razoen (1:56)
Fact #3 Getting Refugee Status Takes Years (6:54)
The process of gaining refugee status in Bangkok can be long a drawn out, sometimes taking up to 10 years. During this time asylum seekers are left with little to no support from the UN or government agencies, and no legal avenues for obtaining work.
“I have to spend a lot of time at home. Every-time I go out, it’s dangerous for me because I can get arrested. It does make me feel crazy, because if they catch me they’re gonna put me in jail. Who’s gonna take me out? My life is probably going to end there.” – Patient (5:09)
With the constant threat of arrest and incarceration in the Immigration Detention Center (IDC), even if they do find work, every day on the job is a risk.
“But we also have a responsibility to our neighbors, to humanity. We shouldn’t be relying on the UN to do all of these things.” – Alex (7:39)
Help A Family in Need Survive
The most important work of Courageous Kitchen is our effort to support families in need. Each month we provide a helping hand to those who have run out of places to turn. This means keeping people off the street and making sure they have food to put on the table.
On the form below you’ll be able to join our efforts by creating a recurring donation. Giving on a recurring basis is the best type of donation you can give to families who need ongoing support. And remember you can setup your tax deductible donation for any amount you choose.
About the Filmmaker
This film was created by American filmmaker, Tara Milutis. The New York native specializes in helping agencies in the development sector to better tell the compelling stories of those they help. Her work has been screened at the UN general assembly, and featured in major news publications. You find out more about Tara and her work on the Milutis Films website.