Without legal papers
One day one of our fifteen year olds came home weeping. She went straight to her room and wouldn't speak to anyone. She also wouldn't eat. She has been living with us for many years and we could tell something was terribly wrong.
This girl hasn't seen her dad since she was a little child. He left her mom, took himself a new wife and had no longer any interest of his daughter. The girl's mom remarried and her too abandoned and forgot all about her daughter.
The girl ended up staying with a relative before she eventually came to stay at BCM. She belongs to the Lahu tribe and is born in Thailand. She had a birth certificate until it was sold by her relatives for a few dollars. She is a person with no proof of identity, and not having papers proving where you are born equals zero rights in Thailand, and the rest of the world. If the police were to find her she would be at risk of being imprisoned.
Up until recently she has been perfectly safe with us at BCM, and she has been doing incredibly well. Our current situation is very different; The Thai authorities have decided that children without valid identification are not permitted to stay at foundations such as Baan Chivit Mai. We would be fined with risk to loose all work permits for our staff.
Our fifteen year old was upset because she was dismissed when asking for a copy of her birth certificate at the hospital where she was born.
As we speak we have nine children with no valid identifications. We are constantly working to find solutions to this huge problem in coming up with creative ways of getting identifications for our children. We have good connections within the schools and also with the different mountain villages. Our hope and our work goes on, and we won't stop until the fight is over. Our work started because of these helpless children, and we won't abandon them now, not ever.