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Every once in a while, I come across a story that really makes me feel good about the world. Now is one of those moments.

Making America ‘home’

A local refugee family from Burma came to the United States in 2006, a trip nearly halfway around the world and spanning two cultures that are similarly worlds apart.

Hai Doo and his family became the 200th refugee family in the Phoenix area to become home owners thanks to the International Rescue Committee’s resettlement program.

With the help of grants and other aid, these Burmese refugees are able to start a new life in the United States under a roof that they can call their own. In an IRC news release, Hai Doo was quoted as saying:

“When I was living in the refugee camp, I didn’t think it would be possible to have a home again. Now I feel like my dream has come true.”

The new homeowner exemplifies the story that I would like to see more frequently in the United States.

From Burma to America

More than 8,000 miles apart geographically, Burma and the United States may have more distance between them ideologically.

Since a military junta ended democratic rule in Burma in the early 1960s, the United Nations has repeatedly accused the Indochinese nation of human rights violations. In a Special Report to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights titled “The World’s Most Repressive Regimes,” Burma received the status of “Not Free” because of its unsavory record of governmental abuses.

Although progress is being made for the country that can’t seem to choose between the names Burma and Myanmar, the fledgling rule of democracy may continue to be shaky into the near and distant future.

The United States admitted more than 16,000 refugees from Burma in 2010, according to statistics from the Cultural Orientation Resource Center. This staggering number highlights the ongoing struggle for human rights in Burma and also makes the story of Hai Doo that much more touching.

Even out of the bleakest situations around the world, families like that of Hai Doo can make a new life in the United States with a little bit of help.