by | Jun 25, 2020 | Our Stories

Celebrating a New Start

Eh Tha Boe’s Story

We’re excited to celebrate a graduation that no doubt holds special significance for Winkler student Eh Tha Boe.

Unlike many of his classmates, Eh Tha Boe grew up in a refugee camp in Thailand with his parents and four brothers. His family was one of many that escaped the military’s ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. He lived in the camp from age two to 15 and explains they had very few freedoms and no money.

“It was hard to pay for school, it was just hard to get money while living there,” he says.

At 15 everything changed when they received word their family had been sponsored to come to Winkler. Their first task after arriving was learning English, as the kids entered the Garden Valley School Division.

Arriving in Southern Manitoba in February was especially a shock. The family had never seen snow, and while the first encounters with winter were full of joy, the biting cold would take some getting used to. Another culture shock was seeing so many cars on the road. In the refugee camp they rarely saw vehicles.

“You would just walk, wherever you wanted to go you went on foot,” he says.

 However, the rumbling of engines and rubber on the roads would become his inspiration for a career. Eh Tha Boe took a shine to automotive classes in school and now aspires to become a semi mechanic and eventually a truck driver.

Now 20, Eh Tha Boe is graduating and says he’s grateful for the new life his family has found on the Manitoba prairies with a bright future ahead of him, new friendships he’s forged on the soccer fields, and the ability to speak a new language.

He says it wouldn’t have been possible without their sponsors, Ryan & Rose Toews, Bruce & Phyllis Kroeker and others.

“When we came they did everything for us, they helped us get settled, go to school, everything.”