Just before Christmas break, we had the opportunity to meet with an amazing woman from Chiang Rai named Meejoo. She works on citizenship rights for people in countries all over SE Asia, with an organization called IMPACT. She has an amazing life story and when she first started meeting with corrupt village leaders who were extorting money out of poor villagers to sign their paperwork, she was poisoned and nearly died! But she did not give up and now the laws have changed, far fewer village leaders are using extortion to get their community citizenship and she has helped countless children get their human right to become citizens of their birth country.
Today, we are meeting with the citizenship offices in Doi Saket, where we have 2 cases pending. Meejoo helped us understand the laws more and gave us advice on the cases. One case where the government officer said we would have to do a DNA test, she assured us that is not the case, and explained how to do that case. Hopefully, the government official will be willing to listen to us and follow the correct procedure to get this girl her citizenship so she can graduate high school and be eligible for college scholarships.
We are also finding out about our second case with the boy who has scoliosis. Apparently, they will not do a DNA test between a male and female unless they are mother and child or father and child. The only living relative this boy has is his aunt, so it makes his case much more complicated. We are hopeful they will be able to find another route to get his citizenship so he can get the surgery he needs to live a normal life. Without his citizenship, this surgery will cost around $10,000, so it makes a huge difference for him.
Next month, we will journey back to Mae Fah Luang to assist a woman whose case we worked on last year to get her 3 children registered and get their citizenship cards. We are excited about this, as one year ago, no one in the family had citizenship, and by the end of February, the whole family should have it!
Thank you for supporting this cause and we will keep you apprised of any new developments. Be assured, your donations are being used to support people who are very deserving and in need.