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Time to rest. We travel to Ko Chang!

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I am exhausted by the amount of meetings, seminars and travelling that I have done within last 4 weeks. Yesterday, I travelled back from Dhaka to Bangkok, and when I arrived home, I went to bed and slept for 11 hours non-stop. It felt good, and I still feels good, as I can relax for a little bit longer. I am starting my mini holidays today and will be free from work until next Friday (the full week). Having all this free time at hand gives us an opportunity to explore some of Thailand’s beauty. Tomorrow, together with Tahir, we will drive to Ko Chang in eastern part of the country. We already went there some time ago, when my mother was around in January, but we liked it so much that we decided to return and spend some more chilling time there. Can’t wait to get there. Hurrah!

Right after returning from holidays, I will be travelling to Jakarta, where I will participate in the UNHCR advocacy/awareness raising event on urban refugees living in Indonesian cities. UNHCR will show the movie featuring lives of the refugees in the country, which will be followed by the discussions on what we can all collectively do to make the lives of the refugees a bit easier and more bearable. As the event will be attended by the officials from the Government of Indonesia, we hope that we will all be able to engage in some good conversations that may lead with policy changes that will be beneficials to those who needed to flee their homes in search of safety and protection.

FIFA World Cup fever

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So the month of life disruption has started. Many of my colleagues and friends are now all excited about what happens in Russia: about scores, matches and all kind of drama related to teams losing or winning. I dislike football, especially what is associated with football: explosions of national pride, competition, obscene amount of money that the championships involve. I do however recognise that lots of people like it, and are excited about the games, so I will try adapting and I just hope that it will pass quickly and that I will not be too annoyed in the process ☺️. 

After a considerable amount of time in Dhaka, I am now back to Bangkok for a little over a week. While being here, I managed to have my medical check-up and start planning a possible departure of Tahir from Thailand. We are still not there yet, but with the Embassy of Canada advising us that his case is now having a final review by the resettlement officer, things may go very fast, and we need to be prepared for things to be developing within days, or weeks.

I am feeling very tired these days… too many things happen too unexpectedly and fast. I am therefore glad that I will have a week off at the end of June (after returning from Bangladesh). Together with Tahir, we started looking at the map of Thailand planning what we may want to do. It may well be one of the last trips in this country together, if he indeed departs for Canada soon!

Swamped with work

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End of May and beginning of June have overwhelmed me with work. As rains are intensifying, the race to prepare the refugee community to the consequences of it continues. The challenges are overwhelming… you can perhaps appreciate them, by reading/watching Ben Solomon’s interactive presentation at the New York’s Time (excellent work). Our bit of the contribution to meet the challenges is to make sure that we channel all available funds that we have to agencies that work on the ground - in the quickest and the most accountable manner possible. As we are dealing with substantial amount of money, there is plenty to do! 

It seems that I will carry on being involved in Bangladesh programmes for a while, that is until we manage to recruit a new person for whose position I am filling in (Head of Office for Bangladesh). That may take additional 6 weeks or so - meaning that I will spend considerable amount of time in Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar - with some short trips to Bangkok (to make sure that I provide a minimum attention to my ‘usual’ tasks in Thailand, and that I check on Tahir).

Talking of my responsibilities in Thailand, I am travelling to Bangkok on 12th June, so that I can participate in a panel discussion that is going to be arranged by UNHCR on the situation of the refugees in Bangkok and other cities of the country. The discussion will arranged for members of the Thai government, international community, and civil society organisations. The idea is that we will try to open up discussions that we would like to end up in a massive changes of legal framework in Thailand that would legalise the asylum seekers/refugees in the country in one or another way. While this is a professional engagement, the issue is very dear to me because of Tahir. It is Tahir that made me understand and appreciate how incredibly difficult on every level the lives of refugees in Thailand are… and it is him who motivates me to push for the needed changes in the way that I can from my own professional and personal perspective. I will report on the event next week. 

Tahir is in the middle of his medical check-ups/vaccinating. He is now ready with the investigations, but still needs to receive some vaccines. He is scheduled to finish all on 20th June. Once all is completed, his medical file will be sent to the Canadian authorities for their evaluation. Then we will be waiting for the final decision on his resettlement, and hopefully for the date of his travel to Canada!

I look forward to hearing from you in one or another way. You may always reach me via this email: webmaster@romanmajcher.eu, in case you wish to do that!


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