An American Dream
By Brendan McDonough
The home is filled with children laughing, playing, having fun. They will never have to endure the struggles their parents Myint Cho and Jasmine endured. As young couple, they came to Buffalo from Thailand, after enduring years of brutality from the militia.
They say March and April were the toughest month over there with the temperatures climbing to well over 100 degrees. In addition to the weather they had to cope with the militia who would make them work in the refugee camps.
“The house was bamboo and the roof was leaves and the air can go up all the time. We do not have doors like this just open,” said Cho. The militia would give them the bamboo to build only part of the homes and some of it they would have to find themselves and if seen by the Tia Authorities, they risked being shot.
Myint Cho and Jasmin, refugee from Thailand are so to own a modern house after longtime living in a bamboo house. ( Photo Brendan Mc)
“They just shoot them. They shoot them,” said Cho.
They could not leave the refugee camps giving someone to feel like they had no open, no future, nothing. “Around the refugee camps, there were authorities, chains, barbed wire. You can leave but if the authorities see you, they get you back in and you must walk for one day or whatever they ask you to do. Each camp the exit(s), they have gates,” said Cho.
Eventually he made his way to Buffalo. Through people he met, he learned about the Habit for Humanity program. In 2013 Cho and Jasmine filled out an application. It takes a lot of sweat equity to transform his house into a home. Hammering away at a place that many people had given up on but not Cho, he has struggled with much more in the past. Dealing with suffering and back-breaking labor, the hands of the militia, now he’s making a better place for his wife and three children.
His children will now have the chance to go to school and get an education, something he was not able to do while living in the refugee camps in Thailand. “We got a different teacher every month in the camps, I feel grateful to God and everyone that helped me get here, I am so thankful,” said Cho.
In July, the family moved into the house in South Buffalo. They are still looking for some donated furniture to help fill up the rooms, and turn this house into a home.