Family of New Zealander trapped in Cambodia desperate for him to come home

One of New Zealand's first Syrian refugees is trapped in Cambodia after Thailand closed its land borders with neighbouring countries.

His five children and wife in Wellington are desperate to get him back.

Lockdown's hard enough without your dad being stuck halfway across the world.

Yahya Sheikha flew to Thailand to visit family and then he went by land to Cambodia to visit friends. But while there Thailand's border was closed, and he couldn't get out of Cambodia.

"So I am stuck here, I can't do anything," he says.

His daughter wants him to return as soon as possible.

"I just want him to come back home," Sara Sheikha says.

If Yahya looks familiar that's because Newshub visited him in 2015 - he was one of the first Syrian refugees rehomed in New Zealand.

His wife and five children are anxiously waiting for him to return because they rely on his income to survive.

"I'm sad because I want him to play games with me," Sara says.

Luckily his neighbours are available to help with groceries - his wife can't drive. 

"It's very hard to stay without your family in this time, in this lockdown, you need someone to support you, to stand with you, and now he has no one," neighbour Qutaiba Al Akad says.

Yahya's not the only Kiwi stranded in South East Asia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it's trying to get dozens believed to be stuck in Cambodia and Laos back home.

There is one ray of hope - Thailand's border restrictions may lift at the end of the month.