Paw Lu Lu was born in 1948 in Tongu, Burma. Although she only finished primary school, a friend trained her as a nurse when she went to live in Karen state. She fled to the Thai border when the repression in Burma worsened and has since been taking care of patients in the Sangklaburi district of Kanchanaburi province. She runs the Baan Plod-Phai (Safe-House) founded by the National Women’s Council and supported by The Church of Christ and NGOs that work on the Thai-Myanmar border.
Even as a child, Paw Lu Lu wanted to be a nurse, but her family was very poor and Burma was in turmoil. Her family escaped from the violence into Karen state, where she was trained by a friend to be a nurse. After three years, when the Karen minority was brutally repressed by the government, she moved to Thailand, settling in a refugee center in Mae-Sot District, Tak Province. But when the junta burned down all ethnic minority group’s houses in Thailand and Burma, she moved to Sangklaburi, walking through the jungle to escape. Paw opened a grocery store that also sold medicines, and with her knowledge of nursing, she took care of the patients in the village. When the National Women’s Council opened Baan Plod-Phai in Sangklaburi, they hired Paw Lu Lu to run it. She took in freed prisoners, the mentally ill, HIV/Aids patients, the elderly, homeless and unwanted and migrants. In the beginning, Paw took care of the patients herself, but eventually, her staff grew. Some villagers help her train well patients in livelihood skills. For patients who have gotten well but do not want to go home, she has jobs like weaving, seeding and farming, making the Baan Plod-Phai look more like a family home than a hospital. Paw runs three schools next to the border for the children of refugees. She says, "I would like to terminate the state of war everywhere and build harmony and dignity for all of us. War has created many problems. It brings immorality and poverty. The war must end and everybody should live in dignity."