Our first family is a 32 year old mother and her three children, 2 girls ages 7 and 10 and a boy age 8. They are from Burma and speak the Karen language. In 2006 she walked with her children and about 10 other people to the refugee camp in Thailand. The military informers were forcing the local rice farming villages to work for them for no pay. They are Catholic and the mother has one sister still in Burma. They arrived here in June. The children are happy in school. They are all studying English and the mother would like to find a job.
Our second family is also a mother, age 48, with a son, age 16, and a daughter, age 17. The mother has a part time temporary job, speaks a little English and is very pleasant and welcoming. She speaks the Chin language. In Burma she was able to get to level 7 in her education. In 2007 she walked with her children and 5 others for 1 week to reach Malaysia. They arrived here in June. She still has her mother in Burma. There was much evidence in her daughter’s room of writing talent, a command of the English language and a love of study. They are very neat and tidy and do much with what little they have.
Our third family is a 58 year old father, 39 year old mother and two teenagers, a boy, age 16, and a girl, age 15. In Burma they were rice farmers near a city. In 1997, the father, who was an electrician, was able to make it to Malaysia, and it was 2007 before the mother and children were able to join them. They were also very neat and tidy with fresh cut oleanders in vases. They speak the Chin language and are Christian. They arrived here in June and are most eager to find jobs.
Our fourth family is a Mother and father with two children, an adult male cousin, and a teen female cousin. They are Karen from Burma. They also were forced, by harsh treatment from soldiers, to flee to the refugee camp in Thailand in 1995. They arrived here in August. We visited with the mother who seemed sad and began to cry when she talked of her past. She seems fragile. It seemed an overwhelming situation in general and she could use some TLC and kind help organizing and learning about our cleaning supplies and their use. They can really use 3 bike locks and hangers. The 11 year old is a budding artist and could use drawing materials.
A NOTE FROM OUR FAMILY ADVOCATE: We are out of some items at the storage units that I know these families need or would like. Some items are: cleaning products (very important! They could use mops, brooms, dustpans, liquid cleaner, dish detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, rags, sponges, VACUUMS), pots and pans, baking dishes, VCR/DVD players, microwaves, and toys. I know one family specifically requested art supplies for their talented son, and another asked for a world map or globe. Any help would be appreciated!! If you would like to schedule pick-up of your donation items, please click here.