MAGIC VALEY — When a military take over happened in Burma in 1989, Kyi Kyi Whiting left her home country to seek a better life for her and her children. On June 18, 1991, she arrived in the United States.
“When a military coup happened in Burma all these schools were closed, sometimes closed a couple of years so I decided okay I need to find a better future for my children," Whiting said.
And now another military takeover is happening again in Burma, now known as Myanmar after the 1989 takeover.
“People went to bed on January 30, and everything was okay, and they woke up on February 1 with a military takeover," Ken Witing, Kyi Kyi's husband, said.
This is why Kyi Kyi, along with the Twin Falls group of the Burmese-American Association, hosted a fundraiser yesterday to support people living in Myanmar who were displaced from their homes.
“So this is a very sad situation going on in Burma. We need to find a way to support them because some of them have been pushed out of their homes. The military burned down the whole village," Kyi Kyi said.
For one Burmese refugee in the Magic Valley, the military take over has meant not being able to go home to see her family, even after her father died.
“A couple of months ago, my father passed away, and I can’t even go to the hospital because everything closed. There was no help at all, and another thing is I could not be there with my family during this sad time," Ayemi Khine, a Burmese Refugee, said.
The organization was able to raise more than $4,000 during the event where they sold Burmese food. They originally anticipated raising around $2,000 but exceeded their goal.
“It was very nice because a lot of people showed up, not only the ethnic minorities or the Burmese people but a lot of local people showed up and supported us as well," Neh Meh, chair of the Twin Falls group of The Burmese-American Association, said.
They say they hope these fundraising efforts help those who have been displaced, and give the people of Myanmar some hope.
“Because we create this event and supporting this event that gives people from my country hope in their dark life," Khine said.
Their goal is to continue to host events similar to this one and continue to raise awareness of the events happening in Myanmar.