Peter Sim wrote …
Thanks again so much for making my recent trip to Northern Thailand so memorable. There were many highlights that I will always remember but the standout was meeting the ‘River Girls’ who are Lahu hill tribe people.
I heard about them through our Borderless Friendship Thailand President, Pramote Eua-amnuay, who despite his own privations, has mentored and assisted them to survive extraordinary difficult circumstances to get through school and avoid the fate of so many poor girls who are forced into prostitution.
My wife, Sheila, and I were given the wonderful opportunity to help them financially so they can complete their secondary school and university studies. The tacit understanding is that, on completion of their studies, they will contribute in some way to the welfare of their hill tribe people.
So it was with a sense of excitement and to an extent foreboding that I entered the very poor area on the Ping River, Chiang Mai, that is their neighbourhood. Despite the extreme poverty, the girls were all beautifully turned out and so welcoming! For me it was an emotional moment when we met for the first time (they have so little). Despite the language barrier we were soon chatting away.
We gave some practical gifts for which they were grateful, and we found ourselves face to face with the gritty reality of poverty.
None of these girls have more than one parent: typically one parent will have died of AIDS or be in prison on drug charges. For instance, one young woman is cared for by her devoted grandmother whose sole income is $10.00 a day working as a labourer on an industrial building site. Her mother is a drug addict and no one knows where her father is.
Strange to say, but walking through this riverside slum, full of children, dogs, roosters and dark corners, I never felt unsafe.
It was so sad when we had to say goodbye, but we keep in touch on line via ‘messenger’, which allows us to help the girls by correcting their written English.
The wonderful thing is that our modest investment has the potential to change the life of these girls and their dependants. I know with certainty, that, all our sponsorship money goes to the welfare of these girls with no so called ‘overhead’ deductions.
to find out more about changing the life of a hill tribe child.