ELL: Akha Human Rights Network, Seeking Members

Matthew McDaniel akha at LOXINFO.CO.TH
Tue Jun 19 13:17:53 UTC 2001

Dear Friends:

We are making ongoing contacts with human rights organizations regarding
the beating death in Mae Faluang.

Today we confirmed that the Maesai Chinese Baptist Church does intend to
fill its 300 bed school in the lowlands with 300 Akha children of all
ages to be taken out of their mountain villages under one guise or

No classes will be in Akha language.  No subjects will be Akha subjects
of study.  Conversion is expected.  (as in all other boarding schools of
the missions in Thailand) As far as we know there will be no Akha
teachers.  No Akha history or traditions will be taught.

This is incredibly damaging to the Akha community as well as extremely
bad from a cost effectiveness standpoint.

The Chinese Boarding School compound which costs $450,000 US to build
not counting cost of land and operation would be enough to establish 40
of Thailands 282 Akha villages as economically independent so that all
of these kids could experience security in their traditional environment
as well as attend nearby Thai schools of their choice located through
out the region adjacent to their villages.  This is crucial to the Akha
collectively holding onto their traditional lands.  Forestry Department
wants them out.  The Chinese and other missions are more than happy to
accomodate.  That after all is what gives them the good ride in

We will now be focusing on this one boarding school issue as a major
theme of Akha Human Rights.

Because we have now been contacted by many people who would like to work
more closely with these issues we are forming an Akha Human Rights

If you would like to take a more active communication and publicity role
to help the Akha people, as well as help perform some volunteer tasks
from your region, please reply to this email and ask to be added to the
Akha Human Rights Network.

We do not encourage this to be a spectator only list.

The Network will consist of newsletters as well as publicity and
strategic information on helping to defend and protect the Akha
community and present their needs to the international public.

There is the need to have people who can download posters, flyers and
help distribute them in their country region.

Help do a presentation, contact a minister in your country, contact your
local Thai embassy, contact local mission boards and other religious

There is also the need for seeking donors to help support the media
campaign on behalf of the Akha as well as boost projects that are
provided in the Akha villages to offer an alternative to poverty and
displacement from their traditional villages. This is VILLAGE CENTERED.

Currently there is far too little investment in the Akha community.  The
ONLY alternative the missions are offering them is to convert if they
are to get any "help" at all. Convesion and Disertion are the real
events the Akha experience.

A select few Akha Pastors are made to be very wealthy and influential, a
practice often seen on American Indian Reservations. We can name names.

Fundraising and donors are crucial to this help.

All to often volunteers feel THEY must repeatedly donate to be part of a
work.  This is not true.  Donations are good, but spreading the word and
seeking donors is even better, multiplying the number of people from
whom the assistance comes, reducing the burden on any one individual.

So you do not have to be a donor of money to join this network, but you
should be mindful of helping to raise funds or awareness in your
community, both of which are very valuable to this work.

Please contact me if you would like to be part of this network and be
involved with more emails and communications than what we send out to
the Akha Journal list.

Matthew McDaniel



Credit Card Donation Site:


Your donation goes to infant care, vitamins, medical supplies, wells,
bread and fish for the villages.

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:

The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem OR 97304  USA

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