Steah Htoo, Why I Care Member Recipient

Steah Htoo, Why I Care Member Recipient

Everyone has a story – that’s true – but  few are as remarkable as Steah Htoo’s,  a Burmese refugee who has not only  found her place in the United States, but  is committed to help others make the  transition, too.


Separated from her family when she was just  14 years old, Steah lived in a refugee camp for  16 years before coming to the United States.  Equipped with basic knowledge  about electricity, indoor plumbing,  and other things she would  encounter in her new country, she  bravely made the journey to the  United States.

 
In addition to a full time job,  being a wife and mother to three  children, and maintaining a home,  Steah has become a resource in her  community for other refugees trying  to assimilate into American culture.  In the U.S. only six years herself,  she has become the “go to” person  for these families, volunteering her  time to help them with seemingly simple tasks like reading mail or  making appointments, or more difficult  ones like understanding and completing  complex paperwork or attending parent/  teacher conferences as a translator to help  make the transition easier for families. She  often accompanies other refugees to doctors’  appointments and jokes she can’t count the number of babies she’s watched being born.


Htoo credits her friend Debbie Taylor, a volunteer for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, with helping her establish  herself in this country – and for answering questions and helping Steah and other refugees navigate and understand the American  system.