We stumbled across a terrific story yesterday; check this out:
This is a story of two suitcases, six years, one dream, and a family that could teach Kiwis a thing or two about saving for a house.
Ni Vung Bawi and his family arrived at Auckland airport on March 16, 2006, with only two suitcases to their name.
They arrived as refugees and, now, they have a place to call home.
Mr Bawi and his wife, Sung Hniang Sang, have worked six days a week since they arrived.
They put $75,000 away for a deposit and moved into their $345,000 weatherboard Motueka St home on March 16.
It was exactly six years to the day they arrived, after being persecuted for their Christian beliefs as part of the Chin community in Burma.
They are joined on the housing ladder by the Lian family, who arrived in 2007 and also bought their own home this year.
Nelson Refugee Services manager Gabrielle Humphreys said the Bawi and Lian families were among some of the agency's first families to buy in Nelson.
"We are not sure how many have bought, but it is certainly not many. There are some families who have been here for 15 years that are off our radar," she said.
Ms Humphreys said saving enough money for a down payment in such a short amount of time was a fantastic achievement.
"It is not something that happens much nationally. These families have taken advantage of [work opportunities], and are not afraid of working long shifts and often six days a week. Their work ethic and ability to save is awe- inspiring," she said.
There are close to 400 Chin people and 100 Nepali Bhutanese former refugees in Nelson, arriving at a rate of about 70 people or about 20 to 25 families a year.
This is a wonderful, heartwarming tale. We often hear about the American Dream; but Mr Bawi and Mrs Sang are clearly loving living the Kiwi dream.
And they're very grateful; read on:
The couple, who have an 11-year-old daughter, had tears in their eyes while describing how it felt to have their own place.
"Everything is good," Mr Bawi said. "When I started to work at Countdown my dream was to get a home in Nelson."
Mrs Sang, who works on a horticultural farm near Appleby, said she wanted to thank New Zealanders and the Government for their help.
The family were given a seedling when they became New Zealand citizens last year and they have planted it outside the front of their new house. "We water it every day," Mrs Sang said.
We've had quite a bit to do with a Bhutanese refugee community in a nearby city. Once we get past the language barrier, we are always struck by how grateful these people are that New Zealand has given them a chance to lift themselves and their children out of the poverty and oppression they have faced in their former homes. They are determined to succeed, and become valuable members of their new community.
So we congratulate Mr Bawi and Mrs Sang on what is a huge step for them. We are sure that they will not only become well-respected Nelsonians, but they will always be grateful to the country which has given them a fresh start at life. And that's got to be good. But equally, they are living, breathing proof that the right attitude can get you ahead in life, regardless of the circumstances you come from.