Photo credit: DiasporaEngager (

Although the orientation goes a long way in alleviating some of his fears, Ah is not shy to express the challenges he foresees. “I have to learn a new language, get used to a new environment, understand a new transport system. It will take time to adjust.”

Although Maung and Mu share the same reservations, they are grateful for the opportunities and choices their son will now have. Their reservations are eased remembering that Mu’s parents had been resettled to the same town in the United States a year ago and will be at hand to help them settle into their new lives. “Her father works in a pork factory,” says Maung. “I hope I can find a job quickly too. I’ll be satisfied with any job.”

Unfortunately, Maung’s parents remain in Umpiem – as does Ah’s mother. “It was very sad to say goodbye to my mother and friends,” expresses Ah, “but for now, I have to look forward to my future.”

Ah hopes to go back to school, earn a degree and find work. When asked what type of work he hopes to get into, he immediately quips: “I want to find a job where I can help others integrate smoothly when they arrive in the United States. I want to be there for others.”

While some dread a long-haul flight halfway around the globe, for others, it signifies a lifeline – a path to new beginnings.

*Residents of the Umpiem Mai temporary shelter receive a monthly food stipend from The Border Consortium, ranging from THB 240 to THB 370 (USD 6 to 10) according to vulnerability criteria.

**UNHCR data as of August 2022​​​​​​​

This story was written by Miko Alazas, IOM’s Media and Communications Officer in Thailand.

Source of original article: International Organization for Migration (
The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (

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