The Akha people are one of the six major hill tribes in Thailand and have lived in Thailand for over 100 years. Originally coming from southwest China, through Myanmar, over 100,000 Akha people now live in Thailand.
Akha people have their own language and culture and primarily earn their living through agriculture. They place high value on their family tree and remembering their heritgage.
Because the Akha people were immigrants into Thailand, they were not legally considered Thai citizens, but this problem has improved over the years.
Luka's parents were the first Akha Christians, supported by Jean Nightingale, a missionary in Thailand. Jean gave Luka and 8 other Akha children the first opportunity to go to Thai school. Luka recognized this great gift that Jean had given him and wanted to pass the gift of education to other Akha people.
Thai-Akha Ministries Foundation was originally founded to meet the needs of this minority group.
"Thailand's 'invisible' children struggle for education, papers" (2012), is an article about the thousands of Akha in Chiang Rai who lack Thailand citizenship and the issues they face in the country.
The following short film of "The Akha: Hill Tribe People of Northern Thailand" (2009) describes the struggles of their presence in Thailand and the growing ministry of the Thai-Akha Ministries Foundation and the Akha Youth Development Center.
Thai-Akha Ministries Foundation (T-AMF) is a non-profit organization set up by Akha people for Akha people. T-AMF works to meet spiritual, physical and educational needs of the Akha people in northern Thailand. The foundation consists of several programs including:
Luka Chermue and his family, founder and director of Thai-Akha Ministries Foundation.
“Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”
-- Matthew 28:19-20