Voices from the Field – IRC Blog

International Rescue Committee (IRC) Refugee, Staff & Volunteer Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Burmese refugees’

Vote for two important refugee projects

Posted by The IRC on 28 August, 2008

American Express members project banner
The IRC is supporting two projects nominated for the American Express “Members Project,” a charitable giving contest.Please vote to get them into the top 25 where they’ll have a chance for a share of $2.5 million in funding from American Express.

Malaria Prevention for Refugees in Thailand
Providing bed nets and other simple and cost-effective malaria control activities to significantly reduce the incidence of malaria among Burmese refugees in Thailand.
Vote for this project >

Refugee Career Development
Providing career development activities to increase job readiness, job retention and earning potential for newly arrived refugees in the U.S.
Vote for this project >

The deadline is next Monday, September 1, so please click now and vote!

Posted in Asia, health, howtohelp, refugees, UnitedStates | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

From Burma to the Bronx & Beyond [Voices from the Archive]

Posted by Kate Sands Adams on 17 August, 2007

Mo Nom Tee Kham
Photo: Jennifer Macfarlane for the IRC
This was our very first video podcast series, a five-part interview with Burmese refugee Mo Nom Tee Kham that originally ran from May to June 2007. For an update, listen to this interview with Mo Nom on WNYC radio’s The Leonard Lopate Show.

At 20, Mo Nom Tee Kham can trace a life’s journey few others can. When she was just 12 her family fled their native Burma to Thailand, where Mo Nom moved from an orphanage to a refugee camp and worked low paying jobs as an undocumented immigrant. With help from the International Rescue Committee, she and her family resettled in New York three years ago. Now she’s studying on a merit scholarship at Dickinson College, where her favorite class is Education and Democracy. The IRC’s Emily Holland interviewed her on campus.

Part 1
In the first episode of a new IRC podcast series, Mo Nom tells the story of her family’s life in Burma and flight across the border: Her father, a pro-democracy activist who had been arrested by Burma’s ruling military junta, told her that he had won the lottery and that the family was going to ‘go for a vacation in Thailand.’

Part 2
Mo Nom learns from her father that the family’s ‘vacation’ in Thailand may just be permanent. Not long afterward, she’s separated from her parents and experiences first-hand the wrenching uncertainties of life as a refugee.

Part 3
Mo Nom’s family learns that they have been selected to resettle in the United States and that New York City will be their new home. Mo Nom describes the one ‘crazy’ week the family had to take care of medical checkups and other formalities, finish final exams at school, and pack their belongings to leave.

Part 4
Mo Nom’s family arrives in New York. Of her first week in the city, Mo Nom recalls feeling like she was dreaming, but by the second week she could already imagine building a life there. ‘Wow–we finally have a home,’ she says. ‘we don’t have to be scared anymore.’

Part 5
Mo Nom describes the opportunities life in the United States has presented her. ‘You have this beautiful country. You have free education. You have this high school system. You have everything you need. You should take advantage of it–go for it.’ She talks about life as a college student and her plans to use her education to help people, perhaps back in Burma. ‘I want to change my country,’ she says, ‘which is a big dream.’

Posted in Asia, education, refugees, UnitedStates, video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »