Zothansiami (Siami) Ralte was born on the Northeast India state of Mizoram. She was raised in a Christian family, graduated from college and came to Thailand as a teacher. After a year in the city of Chiangmai, she moved to the Karen tribal village of Ban Nong Chet Nua (Museekee). In 1989, she married Soradaet Manahmigaebthong, a Karen native who also teaches at the Friendship School. Their first daughter Sirikanya was born September 25, 1992. Siami has a gift of administration which she has used to gain the trust of the local people and the respect of authorities at all levels in Thailand.
Siami is blessed when she sees each girl establishing a progressive path from desperate poverty to a self supporting, satisfied adult.