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Published on Sep 8, 2013
In 1981, I was working in Galang Refugee Camp in Indonesia. Mely Bonifacio, the UNHCR Representative invited some of us to sail with her to the Kuku Refugee Camp. We made the 20 hour trip from Tanjung Pinang on the Seasweep which was operated by World Vision.
The Kuku Camp was located in the Indonesian Anambas Islands east of Malaysia. If I remember correctly, there were 2000 Vietnamese refugees in the camp at the time. We took them supplies, and carried 200 people with us back to Galang.
Kuku was both beautiful and brutal. There was ongoing abuse by the Indonesian military, and just a month before our visit a refugee boat had sunk within sight of the camp drowning everyone on board.
We were only on Kuku for several hours, and I took these photos then.