Dallas Employee Spotlight: Toe Bi Bae
Toe Bi Bae enjoys his new life in Dallas but his thoughts are always with the family and friends he left behind in Burma. When Toe Bi Bae (Toby, to his friends and clients) becomes homesick, he reminds himself of the two reasons he made the choice to resettle half way around the world: his son Ranger and daughter See See.
Toby fled Burma with his parents to the relative safety of Thailand when he was only 4 years old. His family lived in various refugee camps for close to 20 years. While in the camps, Toby was able attend school. He was an excellent student and absorbed everything he could, learning to speak English from American aid workers.
Toby married and raised his own family in the camps. When the opportunity came to resettle in the U.S., he made the difficult choice because he wanted his children to be safe and have a better future. His parents, however, decided not to come with him. Toby says, "They will not leave because they hope someday to return to their land." But, in many cases, the Burmese government has taken refugees’ land to grow crops or salted the land with land-mines.
Since coming to Dallas 1 ½ years ago, Toby has become an invaluable part of the IRC staff as an assistant case manager. He helps refugee families begin to adjust to their new homes and new life. He wants to continue to help refugees and educate the public about their lives. With his determination and desire to help others, Toby has also become a leader in the local Burmese refugee community. Toby has hopes of becoming a journalist to tell the story of Burma and its people.