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Akha Human Rights - Akha University

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Missionaries Steal the Akha Children

- George Orwell


Missionaries are using coercion for conversion against the culture of the Akha people when the Akha are undergoing genocide. Removal of Akha children is genocide for getting money but it is also shows a lack of understanding of what is happening to the Akha people.

The Problem With Missions:

1. Missions use the issue of poverty to collect money on behalf of the needs of the Akha people but the money does not go to or get controlled by the Akha community. Instead it benefits only a few Akha Elite who live lifestyles as good or better than any westerner while the rest of the Akha suffer in very deep poverty.

2. Missions hoard money in the way of facilities and budgets. Beyond just a good life for the Akha missionary elite the missions also hoard money for facilities when that same money would have made independent hundreds of Akha villages, all of them. After years of hearing about Akha poverty and collecting money to do something about it the Akha are poorer than ever and the missions are richer than ever.

3. Missions require, coerce or pressure conversion of the Akha away from their culture towards a western style Christianity. This extraction mentality destroys the indigenous knowledge system, the original identity of the Akha people.

4. After years of doing all in their power to eliminate Akha culture in village after village now the missions are claiming that they are somehow "trying to preserve Akha culture". Maybe some people are fooled, but the missionaries can not point to one traditional village they work with.

DAPA, started by Paul Lewis, and fully funded by mission organizations now claims that they are out to save Akha culture. Maybe someone needs to ask them how the American missionaries in their home at Doi Chang figure into this process, since those American missionaries in the directors home are actively trying to convert the traditional part of Doi Chang Village.

House shown below.

5. Missions remove Akha children from their families and villages by numerous means, but the end result is that the Akha children become alienated from their Akha roots.

Children in mission residential homes complain of sexual abuse with no one to turn to. Missions which know that their mission staff are sexually abusing the children cover it up or work with the police to threaten the children and other witnesses. Around the world, the sexual abuse of indigenous children at mission schools is well documented, and now it is happening to the Akha.

Mission staff who were identified as sexual abusers of the children were promoted rather than dismissed.

Mission staff especially focus on removing young Akha girls from villages. The young men in the villages who would like to marry are not consulted in this process.

In the end, the Akha will have come to understand the nature of this exploitation sweeping the villages and rebel against it.

Copyright 1991 - 2006 The Akha Heritage Foundation