Meet Ko Lo Mo
4 Jul ,2016 02:30 am
Ko Lo Mo and his family were forced out of their peaceful village in Burma by the Junta military and made their way over the mountains into Thailand. They spent the next 15 years in the Mae Surin refugee camp.
In 2011 Ko Lo Mo with his wife and new baby finally received a visa to some to Australia. They settled into Bendigo with other Karen refugees that they knew from the camps. When we first met Ko Lo Mo, we couldn’t communicate and he was extremely shy and withdrawn.
It has been a difficult road for Ko Lo Mo and his family. They had no English at all and struggled with the change. In 2013 his daughter was diagnosed as deaf and this added another layer of difficulties for him.
Between attending TAFE to learn English and caring for his daughter, there was no time to connect with the Bendigo community. He basically moved between home, Tafe and church. His daughter received a Cochlea implant in 2014 and Ko Lo Mo continued to attend to his English classes.
Some years earlier, Bendigo Baptist Community care had started a cleaning business (Eleven41 Cleaning Enterprise) to support Karen refugees living in Bendigo. In 2014 Ko Lo Mo successfully completed a cert III in cleaning operations and began work with Eleven41.
Well in 2015 his English is has improved so much. Ko Lo Mo works with Eleven41Cleaning enterprise and when he comes into the community centre he has so much confidence and greets us with his infectious smile.
We asked him how he first felt when he came in here and he said “I was scared to talk to people but people would talk to me and I began to relax and feel comfortable here”.
So is there anything else you would like to say Ko Lo Mo?
“Thank God and thankyou for the people that live in Bendigo”.