Michelle Larson doesn’t look the type to wade through knee-deep trash along the border of two developing countries. She’s pretty, stylish, and at the very least hygienic. Nonetheless she points to one such jaunt into the garbage as a formational moment in her life.
“The first time I took a visit to the city garbage dump in Mae Sot, Thailand [a Thai city on the border with Burma], I found myself knee deep in the trash, playing with the children who live there,” Michelle recounted to us by email from Mae Sot. “Many of them had skin problems, horrible coughs, and smelled like… trash.” The children’s Burmese mother said that settling her family in the dump was the lesser of two evils, that keeping her family in Burma was far more dangerous.
Michelle has since spent the last several years traversing the borderlands of Thailand and Burma, educating herself on the brutal military regime that tyrannizes the Burmese people to this day, and exploring ways to support the many refugees that flee for their lives.
She helped found an organization called Eleho that publicizes the hardships of people in Burma and supports the best organizations serving them. And recently she was asked by those organizations to teach English to Community Health Workers, helping them to better understand the medical texts and drug labels that they rely upon. She is there now, working on a voluntary basis to spread hope in Burma.
We are proud to announce that Michelle is our next Ember Hero, and that 50% of all online sales through the end of October will be donated to Eleho to support Michelle’s work. You can shop online here.