To give them a better future than they had, hilltribe people have had to face the reality that their children have to learn Thai, math and other skills that they need to survive in the lowlands.
Financial hardship, lack of parental care, abusive family situations and single mothers struggling to work and raise children alone means many children are put into the care of “orphanages” or homes/hostels but almost all of them are Christian-based, which means their traditional identity is further being erased.
The new generation of Akha youth need a safe place to live where their traditions and culture are being celebrated, where they learn about where they came from in order to get where they are going and where morals - rather than religions - are taught.
They need financial support for education, to learn about drugs and safe sex, and guidance on how to apply for citizenship or a job.
Struggling with cultural identity, low self-esteem in being a minority group, and with social media showing them lifestyles they cannot afford, the new generation of Akha youth will benefit from genuine support to help them face the challenge of balancing the past, the present and the future