The Akha Heritage Foundation - www.akha.org
Akha Human Rights - Akha University
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I've known Matthew McDanial more than ten years and his brilliant work in founding, creating, growing and maintaining the Akha Heritage Foundation has been--is--inspirational. Indeed, the Foundation provides almost a textbook model of how an individual can build a successful organization and program based largely on their own passion, commitment, belief, and will--and very hard work. He and his associates have done a remarkable job in supporting and championing the Akha people of Thailand, and are expanding to take up the cause of other tribal minorities of that region.
Their effort in 2008 is a remarkable example of this commitment as Matthew, his family, and associates have--while maintaining their Akha website and informational and educational programs--embarked on an ambitious project to raise funds, purchase and outfit a bus and horses to make to make a West Coast to East Coast ride across America to raise awareness for the plight of the Akha. Starting from scratch they have acquired the horses, obtained and revitalized and outfitted the bus, and are ready to embark.
This builds on Matthew's continuing representaitons at the United Nations and other international venues to call to the world's attention to the condition of the Akha who are being persecuted and otherwise marginalized in their ancestral homeland. In addition to heightening awareness, a prime goal is to raise funds to support the Akha.
Matthew's singleminded and unswerving devotion to this work is reflected in the websites and publications that he has produced and keeps up to date on events in the lives of the Akha. While accomplishing all this, Matthew continues striving each day to learn more and better ways to achieve his goals.
He has set his sights high and if past performance is any indication, he will succeed.
Copyright 1991 - 2008 The Akha Heritage Foundation