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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

And a CHILD shall lead them

Heather is not a child—she is 42. But she will always be the baby of the family. She’s my party girl, my shopper, my neat-and-clean kid, my remember to write thank-you notes child, and the lover-of-good-wines-and all desserts. She is also a brilliant ultrasound technologist. Yesterday she went to LAX Airport to board a plane to take her away from her beautiful home and husband, away from our hugs and into Mae Sot, a region at the Thailand/Burma border and the site of a clinic. For two weeks, she will use her skill to help radiologists and doctors identify medical problems. She will also teach while there. She decided but a few weeks ago to volunteer for this mission and I couldn’t be prouder. This region has a heavy refugee population. The exact number of Burmese in Mae Sot is unclear but estimates say that over 100,000 exist in addition to the 106,000 already recorded in the official census. In recent years the ongoing refugee situation has attracted NGO's and International aid agencies to set programs in the town and surrounding areas. One of the most notable organizations is Mae Tao Clinic located just outside the west of the town. It was established by the Burmese/Karen Dr. Cynthia Maung to offer free medical services to Burmese who do not qualify for treatment at the local Mae Sot Hospital.  A native of Burma (Myanamar), Dr. Maung is considered the Mother Teresa of Burma.  And Heather will meet/work with her. Heather will see what true NEED really is. She will understand how much of the world lives. She will find out about an NGO called Earth Rights Thailand that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment. The bubble that my family lives in--- too often unaware of corporate abuses that put gas in my car and clothing in my closet—will be shattered by her first hand account. Wow. What a way to lead our family into 2013.

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