Becoming Canadian: Refugee Resettlement Program
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Transcript: “Becoming Canadian: Refugee Resettlement Program”
Video length: 2:03 minutes
Hay Bay La /Karen Refugee
“Canada is Excellent!”
Hay Bay La is studying to become Canadian. Hay and many of his classmates are Karen refugees from Burma who have been brought to Canada under Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Refugee Resettlement Program.
Mae La Oon, Thailand
Hay spent 16 years at the Mae La Oon refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. This remote and overcrowded camp is one of several in Thailand that is home to thousands of Karen nationals. They were forced out of Burma at gunpoint by the military government.
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Hay and his extended family were resettled here in the heartland of the Canadian prairies.
Adjusting from life in the jungles of Thailand to the streets of Moose Jaw has been a challenge, but they’ve had help.
Laurie Hunt/Moose Jaw Multicultural Council
“They didn’t know how to turn on a tap. How to turn on a microwave. How to open a car door. I teach them everything they need to know about living in Canada.”
The Multicultural Council, funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is teaching Hay’s sons to fit in with their new society. They’re rapidly learning English. The Council also set up Hay with a job at a meat packing plant.
“They’ll make fantastic Canadians. Because they want to be Canadians. They’re trying as hard as they can to fit in. To do what they can to be productive in Canadian society.”
Hay Bay La and his wife Pai Kee La are grateful to Canada for this chance, the first in their lives at freedom.
“This is a great country. A good country. Yes, I want to live here.”
Canada is providing protection to more than 3,900 Karen refugees, most of whom have already arrived.
For more information about resettling refugees, go to cic.gc.ca. A message from the Government of Canada.
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