Mak’s Story


Mak’ Story created empathy – and connection – with many American students. Her story gave them deep insight into her life, predicament – and encouraged them to raise funds for other children. And their donation gave her a chance for a better life.  Hopefully I’ll be able to find Mak on my next trip to SE Asia

Seven year-old Mak was at the temple with her aunt when the tsunami hit.  “Everyone who was at the temple survived,” her uncle told me, fixing his squid trap. “And everyone who didn’t, died,” he added, a bit unnecessarily. On that day, Mak lost her parents,  7-month old brother, and most of her relatives. Relatives relunctantly took her in. There was – literally – no room for her.  Occasionally her uncle squeezed her onto the motorcycle when he ferried his three daughters to school.



Mak was the brightest student in school – and in spite of the huge losses in her life – she was the one who helped the teacher – and the other students.


Mak helps the teacher by collecting the notebooks


Like Cinderella, Mak (the smallest child) was given the hardest chores.
After school she was sent to fetch water, about 1 km away.

An elementary school  had given Kids Across the World a small donation – and I decided to use it to help individual children. And to document exactly how the money was spent so that my donors – a class of eight year-olds – could ‘meet’ children around the world – learn about their lives and predicament – and see exactly how their money was used to help them. 



Mak had two sets of clothing – her school uniform, and a faded sarong and teeshirt. The new clothes – and bag, sunnies and toys – totally transformed her


The best part of the donation – we covered the cost of transportation to school – in a songtheow – for six months.

So – did this donation help to change her life? I really hope so. On my next trip to Thailand, I will look for Mak, to see how the life turned out for this extraordinary child.