The family unit in the Karen culture is very important. Unfortunately most families are lacking the fathers and older brothers. In order for the Karen to continue their struggle for freedom most males over the age of 12 are soldiers. The women have the responsibility of trying to feed and clothe the younger children and care for the GrandParents who have survived over 50 years of fighting.

Our primary focus has been to bring food and medical aid to the families. In the past we have taken as much as 2000 lbs. of rice, 500 lbs. yellow beans, Chilis, dried salted fish, tins of sardines, canned milk, and baby formula into a village. Food and Medical supplies were either donated and brought in with team members from the United States or purchased in Thailand with donations of cash.


The baby boy is in this photo is held by his proud adoptive parents and he is 3 months old. I took the picture of this precious family during my February 2006 Trip into the refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border. I was fascinated with their story and wanted to share it here.

This little guy was born October 29, 2005. His natural father wanted to kill him! (I haven't found out why, except to hear speculation that the father probably had a drug and/or alcohol problem). The birth mother of the child begged for his life and finally convinced her husband to let her give their newborn son away to someone who would love and care for him.

She gave the baby to her niece, Aye Mya Than. Aye Mya Than and her husband, Mar Ner Khu, were unable to have children of their own. The happy couple love their new son very much and are so very proud of him. They have hopes that one day he will become internationally famous. For this reason, they chose for him a name that they had seen in video tapes and in magazines: Mick Jagger!

Not long after returning to the states, I was able to find a sponsor for "Baby Mick Jagger". He is a healthy baby and his parents could not be happier. We are so thankful for the individual sponsors who make it possible for us to help make a difference in the lives of these families.

Mae Boto Village after an attack in 1995. Betty weeps as she views the harsh realities of war~~Homes Burned and the Village deserted where once thousands lived.

This is a photo of the main room in a Mountain Karen home with the open fire pits on the floor. The inside of these houses are real dark and smokey from the cooking fires. The Mountain Karen are primarily Buddhist and live a much more primitive lifestyle than the Karen in the lowland villages or refugee camps.

This Newborn Baby was delivered by Dr. Eileen and Dr. Jim in 1997 - Shown here getting a first bath from young Karen nursing student in Kwee Kler Village. Karen babies are born very small and have a low survival rate. This baby was born just days before the entire village had to be evacuated due to enemy troops over-running the area. The baby's mother was forced to flee into the jungle with her newborn in hopes of making it to one of the Refugee camps across the border in Thailand. Unfortunately, we never received word of how many of these villagers actually made it to safety.

International Assistance Group, Inc.

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Waianae, Hawaii 96792

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