Monday, February 25, 2008

Thin Yannat

We were in Chiang Mai spending the holiday with the Garcias when we received a text message from Megan, the American missionary who volunteered to work with us. “One of the children had been kidnapped and we don’t know where she is right now.”

Panic started to set in and we called up our Burmese co-worker at Grace Home Kindergarten Center and asked for details. And the girl was indeed taken from GHKC by a woman who arrested once for human trafficking. She belongs to a syndicate which smuggles young girls and children from Myanmar to Southern Thailand for work and most of these young girls end up in prostitution.

We were helpless and we could not do anything because we were miles away; we could not report this incident to the Thai police because the child’s father came from Myanmar and was staying in Thailand illegally. This would add to the trouble rather than solve it.

GHKC is not only a daycare center. There were times when it serves as an orphanage. We take care of children whose parents could no longer do it for reasons like death or bad health. And in this case, Thin Yannat’s (the girl’s name) mother is dead and her father was suffering with HIV/AIDS. He was waiting to die somewhere in the middle of the rice field under a tree deprived of any medical treatment (this is another story).

Sleep could not come to us easily that night. We made a phone call, the next morning and we were relieved to find out that they got Thae-Yaw Nat back with the help of our friend who works with International Organization for Migration (IOM), a non-religious NGO.

We decided to adopt Thin Yannat. She is now staying with us and we bring her to Grace Home Kindergarten everyday. We do not know how the paper works about adoption here but we will soon find out and do the necessary things required by the law. She will stay with us and perhaps bring her home to the Philippines.

On the picture are Thin Yannat with Narlin

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