Oh Kler

From: Yangon, Myanmar  Current City: St. Paul, MN
"I had to walk to school because we didn’t have school buses. Most people could not pay for electricity. When I studied for a test at night‚ I would use a candle."
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Oh Kler felt mixed emotions when she arrived in the United States. While she was excited to begin her new life, she was devastated to leave her friends in Thailand behind.

Born in an small village in Myanmar, Oh Kler moved to a Thai refugee camp when she was seven years old. Her village had been consumed by war, and she wanted to escape to a safer place. In the refugee camp, Oh became the first person in her family to ever go to school.

While her life improved in Thailand, Oh continued to face many challenges, like not having enough money for food. When she was eighteen, Oh learned about the refugee resettlement process that brings people from the camp to live in the United States. She was excited about the prospect of a better life and decided to apply.

In February 2016, Oh arrived in Minneapolis. Her first months in the United States had hard moments and happy moments. She didn’t have a car or speak any English, which made it hard to navigate this new land. However, she discovered the large Karen community in Minnesota and started to feel at home. Now in high school, Oh wants to become a chef and cook her favorite Karen dishes for others.

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