The story of Pema Tamang
Life as a Refugee
My name is Pema Tamang and I am from Jhapa Nepal. I was born in Nepal and lived life as a refugee for 16 years. As a child I grew up in a community where no one had hope for their future, everybody struggled to meet their basic needs and all the people endangered their life daily. My parents were exiled from their country Bhutan in 1991, with my two years old, older brother Tshering Tamang. Because of the government, they had to forcefully leave the country. Their stories are the stories of fear, execution, prosecution and many other life endangering factors which make me never want to go back to that country. Life as a refugee is hard because nobody has hope for their future, everyone needs to struggle daily to meet their basic needs and people endanger their life daily. I am going to share some experiences that I have spending my life as a refugee for 16 years.
When I was a refugee, I had no dreams and hopes for a bright future. Even though I was going to school as a young boy, I could not focus on my study because of various problems in my family and in my community. The education system was also not effective enough. Because everybody was jobless, they had to kill their time gossiping about others which creates fights and disputes among each other. Those conflicts eventually ended up in affecting the conscience of young generations who are growing. The young generations were therefore, imitating the older ones. Most of the young people of my age were addicted to cigarettes, Marijuana, Alcohol and other drugs. I was not touched by the addiction but I was just starting to smoke cigarettes because of peer pressure just before I came to Canada. I had no hopes for the future, no dreams for the destiny and I was aimless.
As a refugee, we struggled daily to meet our basic needs like food and shelter. We had huts made of bamboo and plastic with thatched roof. UNHCR provided us with some food and utensils which was not enough to hold the family expenditures. My dad would go to work as a labor for months and come back with the money that doesn’t even covers the debt we owe to some people. Because of the economic problems I couldn’t focus on my study. There was not an opportunity for me to explore the outside world except the corrupted camps environment.
Living a refugee life is hard. It’s dark with no future, no hope, no dreams and no destiny. But I thank God that he had a plan for me.
I discovered Jesus in August 8 2008. I started to have hopes and dreams in my life again. He gives me strength to face my daily struggle. And thankfully he brought me here in the land of opportunity to explore the world. I am renewed again.
by TG, Canada
posted: Tuesday, 24th June, 2014