Why I want to be resettled

Some people in my village, especially the old people, are content with their life in Thailand.  They feel safer than they were in Burma and they are happy to spend their life in one place and they do not want any other opportunities. The reason I want to go to New Zealand is because I hear that the women there are very free; they can do any job.  I want the chance to learn more and change my life.  I already speak English so I think it would be easy for me to study in New Zealand.

I feIt like I was just owned by the people who bring the tourists. When I told my foreign friends that I just want to be normal and work in an office they are surprised; but I am fed up of smiling for the tourists.  They didn’t think I was like them; they say some bad things about us because they don’t know I can understand them and they laugh at our culture and ask the same questions all the time.  It is very boring.  If I have children I don’t want my children to live like this. 

I was not allowed to move freely in Thailand.  They will not give us Thai citizenship and let us integrate.  I could only stay in the refugee village or visit Mae Hong Son for shopping in the day time.  Most of my people cannot even visit Mae Hong Son, but I could visit because I wore the rings so the police did not stop me.

In my village we meet a lot of tourists and I talk to them about the rest of the world and I hear that New Zealand is very beautiful. New Zealand is a big country but it is not very crowded.  My world is very small here as we are not allowed to go anywhere.  People from all over the world come to see us and I want to see their countries too. 

So when we heard that UNHCR had a resettlement programme and that we could apply to go to third countries some of us were very excited.  My neighbours, my uncle and my sister and brother in law applied and they were all accepted to go to Finland and New Zealand.  I decided to go with my sister because she and her husband don’t speak English and I knew I could help them and UNHCR agreed; so did the New Zealand government.