Myanmar orphans take classes in Chinese border town

Updated 2017-03-29 11:01:11 CGTN

The battle between Myanmar government forces and armed groups has simmered down after three weeks of intense fighting that started earlier this month. But it is still not safe for the more than 20,000 civilians who fled to China to return home.

These children are from an orphanage in Myanmar's Kokang region. They escaped after clashes broke out three weeks ago.

The children are among thousands of civilians fleeing the war zone, seeking safety and humanitarian assistance in China. It's the third time for some of them, following clashes in 2009 and 2015.

They finally settled down in this local community in the border town of Nansan. The room is provided for free by a local resident but the facilities are limited.

Yin Zhonghe, director of Myanmar's Enci Orphanage, said the temporary classroom is not spacious enough to accommodate more teaching facilities. They lack tables and chairs, and the children cannot write comfortably.

The single room houses more than 60 people. They study here, live here and do everything together. Most of them are orphans who went through unspeakable experiences. Each time they escape conflicts back home, new traumas await them.

Some children developed a fever shortly after they arrived. Mi Chengxiu, 19 and herself an orphan, takes care of the sick and younger ones. She says the trauma affects everyone.

The students prepare to go home each time the gunfire stops, she says. But then they hear the sound again and again. They are all looking forward to going back home.

China has urged restraint on all sides and a peaceful resolution. Unable to return for now, the students have little choice but to stay calm and make the best of their situation.

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