Yado quickly bundled her few belongings. Reports of thousands of gathering troops were more frequent now. Her first concern was the girls. War and rape seem to go hand in hand. As her thoughts went to little 7-year-old Eenap, whom she was sending off to relatives with a 2-month supply of rice, a heavy tear welled up and coursed down her cheek. She prayed quietly under her breath.
Most of the children and staff were leaving for several border towns that would be the hardest for the war to penetrate, but some were going to family or relatives if they could. As she shook out and rolled up a woven ground pad, Yado thought about caring for scores of children camping out on the floors of old school buildings…if they were that fortunate. She hoped that there would be outhouses dug out already. Maybe, through some miracle, they could cross the border into China and find refuge there. She wasn’t sure if their resistance army could hold up to the superior numbers and weapons of the Burma Army, but she didn’t dare let her thoughts linger on what would happen if they fell…
Yado is a pseudonym for one of our actual staff members who is actually evacuating children as I write this. She has chosen to spend her life loving and serving these rescued child soldiers who are now being threatened again by war, as the Burma Army attempts to resolve its 50-year conflict with the ethnic tribes through a massive military sweep and blockade maneuver.
We had hoped to avoid having to take these measures, but the situation has escalated to the point where evacuation has become a necessary precaution for the safety of our children and staff. We are staying in communication with our staff as much as possible during this time, so we will post more information as we are able.
In the meantime, please help us spread the word on facebook and in your circles of influence (friends, family, etc.). It is extremely costly to move several hundred children and staff out of harm’s way, so please consider whom you can get to donate and support them during this nightmarish time. To donate, go to http://tinyurl.com/AK47donation.
Jeremy and the Project: AK-47 staff