Thousands of children of mixed American-Asian blood are marooned in Thailand, facing an uncertain future and growing isolation.
Thousands of children of mixed American-Asian blood are marooned in Thailand, facing an uncertain future and growing isolation. They are just a few of the many scattered throughout South East Asia, an unwanted legacy of the United states presence in the area. Their lives are grim. Their futures hold little promise. No one knows how many there are. But they can be found from the hills of Korea to the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
SYNOPSIS: It's estimated there are at least 5,000 children of mixed American-Asian blood in Thailand. They are called Amerasians by the Thais and many of them are to be found at Sattahip outside Bangkok. Here, at least, some are offered hope for the future. They are cared for by the Peal Buck Foundation, named after the American novelist who spent much of her life in South East Asia and set many of her books in the region.
However, the living conditions of many of the children is causing the foundation increasing concern. Although some 600 have been found homes locally or in the United States, the remainder have been told they can't enter the United States without sponsorship.
The foundation says there's been a rapid decline in the number of Americans willing to sponsor such children. Even when the foundation tries to integrate them into the local community they face serious problems.
An estimated 40 per cent are of school age, but they have difficulty mixing with other children. They are stared at and develop feelings of inferiority.
The foundation has schools and homes -- like this one in Bangkok -- where the more fortunate are cared for and benefit from medical and educational facilities. Officials say their main concern is for Amerasian children living with grandparents or distant relatives. They ask what will happen when the relatives die and have warned that the children will be in serious trouble facing the world alone. The foundation says that for many children the greatest anxiety is isolation. To counteract programme is planned to take young Amerasians outings so they won't feel so lonely.