Boi: A Light to the People
Boi (a pseudonym) arrived in a refugee camp in Malaysia in 2007 fleeing political oppression in Burma. While in the crowded Malaysian camps, he suffered great uncertainty and fear.
In March 2010, Boi was given the opportunity to leave the camp in Malaysia and begin his life anew in the United States with the IRC in Dallas. “It was the brightest day of my life,” says Boi. “It was my first day of freedom.”
Despite the current economic climate, Boi obtained a job within a month of his arrival as a cashier at Au Bon Pain at Dallas/Fort Worth airport where he continues to work. “The IRC staff told me to be strong and gave me lots of encouragement,” says Boi. “Because of them, I was not scared for my future.”
Boi’s positive attitude and the pride he takes in his work has not only brought him success, but also paved the way for another IRC client to work alongside him at Au Bon Pain.
Boi is pleased with his work and achievements at present, but has strong ambitions for the future. “First, I must build a better life for myself with my job,” says Boi. “Then, I will go to college to get a degree so I can help the Burmese people.”
Boi’s desire to help the people of Burma has already manifested itself as a volunteer for the IRC where he interprets and helps with special events like the IRC’s monthly Arts and Crafts party. Despite working a full time job with a long commute, Boi still finds time to give back to his community.
Boi signs his name by dotting his I’s with a star. When asked about the significance of this, Boi responds with a smile: “I want to be a light to the people, to lead, help and show them the way.”