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MISSION STATEMENT

International Assistance Group, Inc. was formed in Hawaii in April 1994 as a non-profit humanitarian aid organization. Our primary goal was to provide food, medicine and humanitarian aid to the thousands of Karen refugees from Burma who are forced to live under life threatening conditions in the jungle or in over-crowded refugee camps along the Thailand/Burma border.

In the past, we have taken doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, pastors and every day lay people willing to step out and make a difference in someone else's life. We not only visited the refugee camps, but traveled across the border into the jungles of Burma to offer aid to the internally displaced persons who had to flee their homes and villages in the wake of fighting between Burmese government troops and the Karen freedom fighters. Since 2008, it has not been possible to take teams into the refugee camps. Because of the continued fighting along the border, the Thai authorities are much stricter on travel in the area. It is a challenge for just Rick and I to get into the camps on the Thai side of the border. We are no longer traveling across the border into Burma.

Our goal now is to find as many sponsors for the children in the refugee camps as we possibly can. The $10.00 a month it costs to sponsor a child makes a tremendous difference in the lives of these precious children. We go on each trip expecting to bring hope to others, and we come away so touched by their courage and love that we will never be the same.

GET TO KNOW US!

Col. Tom Miller is retired from the USAF and lives with his Hawaiian wife, Keikelia on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The photo shows Tom (at 71 years young!) during one of the hikes to the top of the Waianae Mt. Range that were part of his training work out prior to the trip. We asked him to be President of our organization in 1994.

Dr. Jim Borden MD General Surgeon and Vice President of IAG.
Dr. Jim is shown here with Dr. Po Thah Dah, the Assistant Minister of Health for the Karen Nation.
Dr. Jim is a general surgeon living in South Dakota. He has volunteered his time and worked in the remote refugee hospitals and clinics. We became friends with Jim when Betty worked in his office in Fairbanks, Alaska for 7 years

Jeffery Bergman is the SE Asia Director for IAG. He is a gem dealer living in Bangkok and is our translator in Thailand.

Betty Stribling is Secretary for IAG. Betty lived in Alaska for 8 years and Hawaii for 18 years where IAG was formed and incorporated. She and Rick were married in Feb 2009 and moved to his home in Dothan, AL May 2009. They continue to carry on the work of reaching out to the Karen refugees on the Thailand/Burma border.

The former section leader of Mae La Camp, B'SharLoe, is on the far left of this picture. B'Shar Loe has lost one eye and one forearm. He and his family were re-settled to Australia through the UNHCR resettlement program. They are doing great over there! He has learned English and learned how to e-mail! Pah Nya (Center) lives in a home for handicapped people where there are others to help him. He lost both eyes and both hands in a land mine explosion. IAG has provided some support for Pah Nya as he is unable to work.

Truck Ride~~ This is a picture of Sandy Beckham, Betty Stribling and Dr. Jim Borden in the back of one of the trucks they took to get to the village in Burma they were heading for. The Karen held area was very hard to get to prior to 1995. The first leg of the trip was a long 17 hr. plane trip to Bangkok, Thailand. After spending one day and night there, the team boarded a night bus and rode all night to the border town of Mae Sot. After buying food and more supplies in Mae Sot, they would be loaded onto a truck and taken to the river boat landing. At the river, all the footlockers full of medicine and supplies and personal gear would be transferred from the trucks into long boats. The boat ride was about 3 hours long and it was the highlight of the trip to that point. The lush jungle and mountains rising up on both sides of the river did not even hint at the suffering and atrocities being carried out just a few miles away. The boat would take us to our host village and we would take day trips by boat to outlying villages to conduct clinics and visit the schools and churches. We would also take the boat across the river into Burma for day trips by truck to some of the villages on the Burma side.

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International Assistance Group, Inc.


P.O. Box 1441
Dothan, AL 36302
334-791-9246