December 2004, Abushe (13 years old) was found by the director
of Childlife sleeping at the main traffic intersection in
Maesai. He was sick and very confused - other street children
had beaten him up. Abushe's father had left him in the street
after telling him that he would be back in just a minute.
He never returned. Since then Abushe has been staying with
quite difficult to communicate with Abushe because he can't
speak Thai and is mentallly handicaped, due to which, he speaks
his only language, Akha, so fast that even the other Akha-children
can hardly understand him. Through many interviews Childlife
found out that Abushe's home is located, as he described
it, "next to the ricefield and close to a mountain".
loved coming back to his village. When he and a few Childlife
staff members arrived, everybody was exremely surprised -
they had assumed he was dead. A funeral ceremony had already
been held for him. The couple that he had lived with before
weren't his actual parents. His mother has disappeared and
his father is unknown.
foster parents are very poor, his foster father is addicted
to drugs. They didn't know how to support Abushe in the
future, as he is mentally so different from the other village
children. He never went to school and behaved aggressively
towards the other kids. Abushes foster parents said that
they other villages would have killed him if he had stayed.
The fact that Abushe is in a safe place now with people
caring for him is a big relief for them.
is doing much better now. He's epileptic but is now receiving
medication for it. Though different from othyers, he is well
accepted and loved by the children of Childlife. His favorite
way of communicating is through touch and smile, but he is
also learning Thai and how to speak Akha in a way that others
can understand him. His best friend Ton, who's 2-years-old,
also can't speak thai yet, but they are both very skilled
at Tokrae (Thai ball game).