Ati.

Ati, 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.

After 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.

When 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.

Ati 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 Childlife.

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.

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