now 13-years-old, was born in Laos and is of Akha ethnicity.
Due to the war, his family went into hiding in the jungle
when he was 2-3 years old. His father was in the Laos Army
and often had to leave the family to fight.
the war was over they moved out of hiding into a small bamboo-hat
with a garden and a rice field in a village along the “Khong
River”. When Ati was 5-years-old his mother died
and his father married again. Ati’s new mother forced
him to do hard work and often refused to feed him when his
father was not there.
he was about 6-years-old his father also died. Ati stayed
with his stepmother for a short while before being taken in
by an old friend of his father. Here he was also forced to
do hard labour and slept in the pig house. When he was 9-years-old
he set out on his own, with only 300 Baht, which was given
to him by his father shortly before he died.
crossed the “Khong River” into Thailand. He walked
to Maesai and began to beg for money. He also collected and
sold paper that he found in waste bins. He did anything for
money to keep himself alive. After a while he began staying
in in the nearby temple until the monks caught him stealing
money and he was forced to leave. He returned to sleeping
in the streets again until a man in Maesai brought him to
Ati has been living with Childlife for over the last four
years. He has the opportunity to go to San Khong School and
also helps the Childlife staff to take care of the smaller
kids in the project. He's also member of the Youth Group and
the Drama Group in Childlife. He wants to become a fulltime
staff member of Childlife in the coming years in order to
help Kru Ngaow run the Childlife Center.