For the first time in the last five years, hope is returning to refugee resettlement. Discriminatory policies and bans have been lifted, the refugee cap has expanded ten-fold, and families are arriving every week, including Afghan evacuees. Our New American Integration department is rapidly expanding to meet these positive trends. With the help of your generous gift, our organization can be equipped to rise to this new era of resettlement, one rooted in welcoming and development.
Learn more about Eh Moe and her impact at IIB below!
Eh Moe, Resettlement Case Manager at The International Institute of Buffalo
Buffalo State Graduate, Bachelors in Social Work
When did you arrive in Buffalo?
“I arrived in Buffalo in 2009 at 10 years old. I came with my three brothers and father, my mother sadly passed away before we were approved for refugee status. I was resettled by The International Institute of Buffalo. When I arrived it was dark and I couldn’t see the city, but I will always remember sitting on a couch cushion for the first time, it was the softest thing I had ever felt.”
Can you tell us a bit about your home town?
“I was born in Mae Hong Son, a Thailand refugee camp between the Thai and Burma borders. Did you know they have the longest ongoing civil war in the world? The temperature is usually around 90-100 degrees, but it is very beautiful. My family applied for refugee status for better opportunities and because supplies and jobs were not available in the refugee camp.”
What inspired you to become a caseworker?
“It was very hard for my family in the beginning and that motivated me to work really hard so people didn’t have to go through the difficulties. I also wanted to see what it was like on the other side because I was once a client and now I get to be a staff member helping the clients! I feel like I can connect with them because I went through the same things, and I can give my perspective to staff members on what clients are facing and how we can better help them in the future.”
What is your favorite part of your role?
“My favorite part of my job is seeing clients happy and so thankful, even small steps like getting their appointments done, they see that they accomplished something, and it makes me happy to be able to help in any way. I love seeing their smiles!”
How can the community help the next generation of refugee professionals?
“Interpreting services have improved a lot the last ten years, and it makes it much easier to learn and access our programs. The community can help by continuing to fund the programs that help refugees like myself learn English, go to school, and find jobs they love.”
Your Gift Will Empower The Next Generation of New American Professionals Like Eh Moe
Your gift to our Annual Fund will empower the next generation of New American professionals who are making our city a better place by:
- Helping us to advocate for the essential needs of our clients that make education and career exploration possible
- Funding our services that help New Americans find work such as our six-week Job Readiness Course and our English Learning Courses
- Expanding our Employment department to prepare for the influx of arrivals and increased employment needs
- Supporting our interpreting and translation departments that meet the language access needs for non-native English speakers, allowing them to fully participate in our programs
- Empowering the next generation of New American professionals who are making positive changes within our city, revitalizing our economy, and guiding the New Americans starting their lives in Buffalo