Volunteers with the Kamloops West Rotary, British Columbia, Canada, paint roofing for a construction project at the Akha Training Centre in Mae Suai, Thailand. In 2005 the center housed over 300 children from 27 Akha villages and is located in northern Thailand’s area known as the “Golden Triangle” where drug trafficking and civil unrest along the Laos and Myanmar (Burma) border caused many various hill tribes to flee into Thailand. There are over 600,000 various hill tribes living and farming in Thailand. They speak their own language and almost half of them lack citizenship and are unable to to own land, vote or seek legal employment. Living in insular villages, these subsistence farm families then became a source, especially, for young girls to be sold into Thailand’s commercial sex industry. Among other things, the center teaches Akha children English and Thai languages which allows them to then be educated at Thai schools making them less vulnerable and more adept in Thai society. Rotarians from Australia, Singapore, Thailand, USA and Canada have volunteered and/or provided donations to the Akha Training Centre. The Kamloops West Rotary Club, British Columbia, Canada, with a Matching Grant from the Rotary Foundation were the main contributors to this particular project.

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