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Meloney Len

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Meloney Len and her family escaped the terror of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia by fleeing to Thailand and moving to other countries in Asia. After a church sponsored them, they were able to move to the United States and Meloney was able to start a normal life going to school, working, and eventually getting married and having children.

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0:01:36

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

In 1968, the Khmer Rouge began and changed many lives. This is the story of one woman’s journey. This is Meloney Len. She is a daughter, mother, sister, and aunt. She began her journey in 1980, when she was only 18 years old. Her journey started in Cambodia. She and her family travelled from Cambodia to Thailand on foot. They crossed through rivers and got caught by the Vietnamese soldiers. While they were in Indonesia and Singapore, they learned as much English as they could and were soon sponsored by a Catholic church who would bring them to America. The first place they stopped in the US, was Alaska. they then went to Minnesota, where they took this family photo after a family member won an award in junior high.

After a year of living in Minnesota, they moved to California. they lived in an apartment in San Jose. This is where Meloney Len began her life as an American. She went to Yerbabuena High School and was discriminated against for not knowing English. Over the years, she struggled with English, but learned as much as she could. She graduated from Yerbabuena and started her life as an adult. She met her husband and got married. She had tow children, became an aunt, and made lots of family memories. Her first job was a burger flipper at Wendy’s, but later in life, she owned her own donut shop and deli shop for 16 years.