Enote 06 – Chin Refugee GirlsOctober 20, 2003
News from the Border
Recent reports from Dr. Cynthia's Clinic, have been unsettling. Human Rights Watch published an article which suggested that the Thai government was threatening deportation for her and her Burmese staff. See http://www.hrw.org/press/2003/10/thailand100303.htm . That threat may be overblown. Dr. Cynthia is reported as feeling that negotiations with the local Thai in Mae Sot can probably solve the problem. We have received a report that negotiations are currently underway. Hmm, we'll see.
From The Asian Wall Street Journal we read: “A climate of fear and self-censorship now shadows Thai and foreign nongovernmental organizations and activists, particularly those working near the Burmese border. They have been intimidated, harassed and pressured not to engage in activities that might interfere with the Thai government's plans or to criticize neighboring governments, such as the SPDC.” See http://hrw.org/editorials/2003/apec101703.htm for the complete article.
Finally we were amused to receive a request to the “Black Cat” Foundation for assistance to a new medical service to refugee people in Ranong, Thailand. We couldn’t figure it out at first. Finally we realized the Asian’s tendency to confuse ‘r’ with ‘l’ combined with difficulties non-native English speakers have with knowing the stress we give to syllables and words, has just given us a new name. Any doctors interested in visiting the new clinic? Contact us; we may be able to help.
Can others join you on your trips to the refugees?
Liz and I would be delighted to have visitors with us on our trip to Thailand. There is nothing quite like being there and talking with refugees to gain insight into our work. Visitors could meet refugees we support and come to know more about their circumstances. They also could visit the site of some of our projects and talk with the project directors. Length of stay could vary from several days to a week, and could be combined with a vacation to Thailand, Cambodia, China or India. We will depart for Thailand on January 16 and return on March 26. Contact us, if you are interested.
Two Students from Aizawl
In Aizawl, we do not grant funds directly to our students. Instead we make our funds available through women’s organizations such as the Aizawl CWO (Chin Women’s Organization). Here are two young girls they have decided to support and their reasons why.
Lalnghakliani is the third child of Zatinzing, a divorced mother of six children. She is very bright. Last year she started in grade 1, and after the second exam she was promoted to grade 2. She completed grade 2 last year and is now in grade 3, and is receiving top marks in her class. Her family is very poor, living on the small amount her mother can make selling ice cream in the streets of Aizawl. Support from the Brackett Foundation makes possible her attendance in school.
Parkimi is the oldest child of Siam Thangi and Kham Thang, who also have three sons. Her father has no proper job. He does any work that he can find, and when no work is available he catches fish. Although she completed nursery school last year with distinction, she could not start this year until the Brackett Foundation supported her.
- We have been busy this month with the annual fund campaign, preparing a list honoring supporters, sending second payments to our scholars, and planning our next trip.
- Continuing to prepare for the Art Show at the Picker Art Gallery opening on November 10.
- Planning to establish an endowment fund to aid in the annual funding of the Foundation. (Let us know if you are interested.)
- Speaking at the Colgate COVE luncheon, and at various groups in New York and Massachusetts.
Tom & Liz