The Karen people are an ethnic group primarily originating from southeastern and southern Burma. Due to government instability, decades of war, persecution, and horrendous human rights abuse, hundreds of thousands of Burmese (79.1% Karen) fled to refugee camps on the Thailand-Burma border. Many of these families spent the past 30 years living in the refugee camp, unable to work legally, and unable to return to their ravaged villages. Over the past decade, approximately one-quarter of all U.S. refugee admissions were from these Burmese people. According to a 2010 census report, over 1,200 Burmese have made Nashville their home.
Meet Htoo Paw & Her Family
Htoo Paw and her family are a part of this ethnic group that was granted asylum in the U.S. this past summer, through a former connection I have with a Vanderbilt colleague, I learned about Htoo Paw and her family’s many needs. She and her husband, have 7 children- 5 boys and a pair of twin baby girls. Like most of our refugee families, they are closely knit and do not seem to notice the crowded apartment. The father works fulltime, and four of the children are in elementary school. The children needed clothing and shoes, the babies needed diapers, and Htoo Paw needed a way to walk with her three youngest children to the grocery store. Last month, I was able to give them 150 diapers, baby wipes, personal care items, and some shoes. Someone else also provided a wagon for Htoo Paw to carry the three youngest children and her groceries when she walks to the store.
When their air conditioning unit went out this summer, the landlord told them it couldn’t be fixed. His solution was that the family should purchase a window A/C, which he would deduct from their rent, but with the family barely making ends meet sheltering and feeding their children, they did not have the money to purchase one. Because of the generous gifts donated to the World Outreach Partnership, a new window air conditioner was provided for this family.
We encounter families like Htoo Paw’s every day. You can assist us by donating items found on our wish list.
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10