Akue is a 15-years-old Akha boy with Thai nationality. He is the youngest child in his family and has 2 older brothers. They used to live in Doi Va-Vee (Village) in the Mae Suay District, Chiang Rai Province. Their father worked 7 days a week in Maesai as a gardener.

When Akue was 8-years-old, he and his brother went to work at the dumpster everyday, collecting paper and looking for things to sell. They made about 60 Baht each a day. During that time at the dumpster, Akue got to know Kru (Teacher) Ngaow, who came to see the children working at the dumpster everyday. He would bring them some food and try to teach the children on the site.

When Akue was 9-years-old his mother became very sick, however the family had no money to pay for medicine or to visit the hospital. Therefore Akue and one of his brothers decided to walk from Maesai across the mountains into Myanmar (Burma). They made connections with a drug lord and began to smuggle amphetamines (such as speed) from Myanmar into Thailand.

During the following three years the two boys crossed the mountains countless times, bringing about 100 000 pills per trip back into Thailand. They were awarded 10 000 Baht for each successful trip. Their smuggling work stopped when the police caught the dealers that were importing the drugs on the Thai side. Seven months later their mother fell into coma and died shorting after.

Akue's mother died when he was about 12 years old. Soon after he came to stay in Childlife. He got the chance to study and take care of the smaller children in Childlife. After about one year he had to go back to his father and brother in order to help support them by working in the garden and rice fields. Akue is now back in Childlife and very glad that he's able stay.


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