Child Trafficking Story: Nung Reunites With Mom
Our heart at ZOE International is for our children. We are always considering what is best for each individual child. Sometimes, what is best for a child brings an ache to our heart even as we celebrate another success story.
Nung came to ZOE when he was eight years old. The youngest of six children born to a Karen tribe family living in Chiang Mai, his father died in an accident when he was quite young. The stress of raising children alone was too much for Nung’s mother, so she abandoned her children and left them in the care of her elderly parents back in their little rural village.
The grandparents were unable to take care of the children. Over time, two of Nung’s older siblings simply vanished from home while Nung wandered the village unattended. His grandmother knew that Nung might one day disappear, as did his two siblings. She was put in contact with ZOE who, knowing about the presence of human trafficking in the surrounding villages, brought him to his new safe home.
Nung proved to be a quiet, loving and giving little boy. Very generous, Nung was always sharing whatever he had with the rest of the children whether it was a bit of candy or small toy. He was protective of the younger kids and looked after them.
While the majority of the children at ZOE Children’s Homes are orphans, Nung’s case was unique, so we sought to find his mother and facilitate visits. Nung’s mother visited once, but then disappeared again. Our staff contacted Nung’s village, but we could not find anyone who knew his mother’s whereabouts.
Nung’s ZOE mom knew Nung had a heavy heart. When she asked him what it was he wanted most, Nung said that he wanted to find his mom.
It had been years since Nung’s mother had been in contact with ZOE. But after inquiry, it was discovered she had made some major changes in her life. She had remarried and was living in Bangkok with her husband who held a good steady job.
ZOE then made contact with Nung’s mother and her husband to ask whether they would be open to having Nung return to them and reunite as a family. They answered with an overwhelming YES and were very sincere in wanting Nung to come home with them.
ZOE’s mission is to care for orphans and children at risk of human trafficking. Nung’s account is a wonderful success story. What began as the life and death situation of a little boy wandering the village streets with no one to care for him became a reunion between mother and son thanks to ZOE’s early intervention. Five years after coming to ZOE, rather than being another child trafficking statistic, Nung is living in a loving, stable home with his mother and new father. He’s come full circle.
Like all kids, Nung’s journey had many ups and a few downs, but his ZOE mom stood beside him the whole time. There were hugs and tears the day he left. While she cried the most, Nung’s ZOE mom will never forget his huge smile.
Nung will always have a special place in our hearts, but we know that being with his mom and new dad is the best place for him–and another success story for ZOE!