Friday, January 05, 2007
Sandy and I met A at Baan Unrak 3 1/2 years ago. She told everyone she was 16. She was really enthusiastic, a hard worker and she could speak English, Thai, Karen and Burmese (impressive considering she has only had 4 years of formal education). They ended up having her supervise the kitchen workers...quite an accomplishment especially considering she was really 13.
I have kept up with what she has been doing since she left Baan Unrak. Now she is really 16 and earns about $3 a day making brooms at her family's house.
A friend of mine told me about some educational programs that might be a good match for A. I sat down with her today at her house, a quaint bamboo hut set among rubber and palm trees, to talk about them. She wants to become more educated, but she feels like she must work to care for her parents. Caring for parents is a really important part of the culture here and I doubt that she will go into any of these programs. I hope I am wrong because if not, a girl with so many good qualities will have few options past making brooms the rest of her life.