HOF014: Phanomnhong Aryavong
This is a 72 year-old Laotian male who prior to the political and economic upheaval in Laos worked for the public service. As his concern about the political changes in Laos grew he, his wife and four children fled their home and secretly purchased a boat on the Laotian shore of the Mekong River. They rowed the boat to Thailand where they were eventually brought to the Nong Khai refugee camp where they stayed for several months.
The family had applied to immigrate to several countries, and finally chose to go to Canada. They settled in Ottawa. They benefitted from the support of generous sponsors. As a result of the support, both parents were able to find employment and their children completed their education.
To this day, the family is very grateful to their generous sponsors. All of the family members became permanent Canadians citizens and now consider Canada to be their permanent homeland.