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Paw Htoo



Paw Htoo was born in Burma in 1995. In 1997, her family fled to Thailand to escape continued violence perpetuated by Burmese soldiers. She grew up in a Thai refugee camp. Her family came to the United States in 2008 and she is currently a student at St. Paul College.




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Paw Htoo Transcription
When I think back, all I remember was a difficult life in Burma. My house got burned and my farm got destroyed by Burmese soldiers.
My family had to live in temporary villages because of the battles between Karen and Burmese soldiers. Life was unfair because our Karen people were kicked out of our beautiful land and we couldn’t own any properties we have. Burmese soldiers were willing to take anything away from us. Rice was our main food but it was unfordable since different ethnic groups in Burma was developing and fewer people were working on the farm.
Because battles always happened in Burma, my parents escaped to a Thai refugee camp in 1997. As refugees, we got support from the United Nations such as food, shelter, and clothing. My family lived in a Thai refugee camp for more than twelve years.
In 2000, the United Nation allowed Karen refugees to come to the United States to start a better life. For this reason, my family got a chance to apply for an interview in 2007. After we got accepted for interview, the United Nation checked my family back ground and then they gave us a physical. My family passed the interview and then we got an International Organization for Migration bag the day before we came to the United State. This bag was really important for my family because it helped us get to a new land and my family would have a beautiful life in the United States.
Life in Burma was unimaginable, but luckily my family got a big opportunity to come to the United States and build our new life. Life in the United States is wonderful and way easier than our own country. We have freedom of education and equal rights. I vowed to myself that I will always remember what my family went through. I feel safe living a new life in Minnesota and being with my family.