A Smile Returns Home
Success! Safely returning a child to her family
Ngun Tha Len lost her smile. She didn’t speak much or play with the other children. Instead, she spent a lot of time just gazing out the window. She had met her initial arrival at Zion Children’s Home three weeks earlier with some excitement, but now the emotional strain of being separated from her mother—for the first time in her 15-year-old life—was taking its toll on her heart.
“My mother forced me to go to the orphanage for education purposes. I miss my mother all the time. My mother is the most I love in my life,” she told us. Ngun had failed the 10th-grade so her mother, a poor widow in remote Chin State, Myanmar, sent her to an orphanage over 600 miles away so she could receive the education she needed to pass the 10th grade so as to advance to 11th grade and then to university.
Zion is an Orphan’s Tear Ministry-supported orphanage that’s joined our program to reintegrate children back into families. On a routine visit, our social work staff noticed that Ngun was new and under emotional distress, so they met with her and the orphanage director to learn more about her case. Due to her recent arrival, Ngun had not yet grown accustomed to institutional care, so to prevent her from becoming emotionally scarred—a condition that would likely have prevented any educational benefit her mother had hoped for in the first place—our social work team advised that she return home as soon as possible. But first they contacted Ngun’s mother to assess the home environment and discuss her return, just to make sure Ngun would be returning to a safe place.
Three days later Ngun was reunited with her mother! The next day she re-enrolled in the local school. The social work team visited Ngun a week later to follow up and joyfully reported, “You couldn’t take the smile off her face!”
Ngun is happy to be back with her mom, but our work isn’t over yet. In order to help Ngun pass her test the next time around, we’ll be helping her mother search for after-school tutoring opportunities for her daughter. Your prayers for Ngun are much appreciated.
Ngun is an example of an easy reintegration, as she wasn’t separated from her mother long. It’s a great first success for our new social work team in Myanmar. Thank you for being a part of her story—and the many more like hers to come in the months and years ahead!
Director, Orphan’s Tear Ministry