Seeking refuge, seeking hope: HART partners support displaced communities

29 February 2024

– Bethany Oliver-Dee, Communications Coordinator

Migration has become an incredibly hot-button issue in recent years, dominating news headlines and political agendas. But what about the people behind the numbers? Families caught in the crossfire of conflict, who receive no help from the outside world?

HART is proud to stand alongside displaced communities in forgotten conflicts. We want to tell you about two of these communities, in Burma and Armenia, and why your support provides hope during times of crisis.


The Burmese people have suffered decades of repressive military rule. Although democratic reforms between 2011-21 led to some opening up, the military coup in February 2021 dashed any hope of democratic progress. Violence has caused the displacement of over 2.6 million people across Burma, while more than 1.3 million have fled to neighbouring countries.

HART’s local partner in Shan state – the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN) – is a lifeline to displaced communities. They provide training for midwives and perinatal care to vulnerable mothers. Families who flee to neighbouring Thailand are supported with balanced meals and clean clothes. Children are taught the Thai language, which helps them integrate into their new host country, and increases their chance of accessing formal education.

It seems the rest of the world has forgotten us. There are no laws to protect civilians – especially women and children. We have not been able to rely on the central government, the military or armed groups, but we can rely on HART. It is crucial for our survival and the survival of those we support.

HART’s local partner in Shan state, Burma

Only 80 out of 300 schools are open in Shan state. Our local partner is one of them. Loi Tai Leng School, situated on the Thai-Burma border, provides transformational education to 300 displaced children. They recently launched a pioneering skills-learning workshop for 150 local teachers – who themselves teach in refugee camps along the border. Loi Tai Leng is a beacon of hope for the community.


HART’s partner in Nagorno Karabakh, the Lady Cox Disability Rehabilitation Centre, was forced to close in 2023. This closure followed the nine-month blockade of the Lachin Corridor, and Azerbaijan’s subsequent military offensive on 19 September. The centre’s founder, Vardan Tadevosyan, and his team were among the 120,000 ethnic Armenians evacuating Nagorno Karabakh to seek refuge in Armenia.

It was simply too dangerous for us to stay. We are heartbroken. After 25 years of hope and healing, we had no choice but to evacuate. We will re-establish the Centre inside Armenia as soon as we are able, but my first priority is the immediate safety and wellbeing of my patients and staff.

Vardan Tadevosyan

Despite their forced displacement, Vardan has kept hope alive. His team of therapists continue to run home-visits for displaced individuals who are living with severe disabilities. They provide essential treatment and socio-psychological support to help patients work through the trauma of the conflict.

Our partners prove time and time again that where there is displacement and fear, there is also resilience, and there is hope.


Help our local partners continue to support vulnerable people when they face sudden challenges.

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Help our local partners realise their vision of hope for their communities