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#ChooseHumanity

Meet a refugee family embarking on a new life in a new country

Photo: H. Richards for the IRC

Today, 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

Meet a resettled refugee family embarking on a new life in a new country.

A bright future

Name: Lok and Navin
From: Bhutan
Resettled to: UK

Lok’s second son loves all things football. One of the biggest decisions was whether to support Manchester United or Manchester City.

Lok’s second son loves all things football. One of the biggest decisions was whether to support Manchester United or Manchester City.

Photo: H. Richards for the IRC

Back home in Bhutan, Lok was just starting his career as a vet when ethnic conflict forced him and his family to flee to Nepal. For the next 18 years, their home was a refugee camp. He lived with 14 family members under one roof and worked as a voluntary teacher.

“I said to my friends ‘how long can we be in this situation?’ We lived in despair.”

To begin with he dreamed of being repatriated to Bhutan, but after many years of waiting he lost hope. “I began to long to be resettled,” he says. He first applied to resettle in New Zealand, as he hoped to get a job as a vet there, but after years of no news, he applied to the UK.

We thought that once we relocated to another country we would have better opportunities to sustain ourselves and become self-reliant.

Five years later, the family are living in Greater Manchester. “When we landed it was really cold, we were shivering. We didn’t know what life would be like, we didn’t know what kind of home we would have.” Since arriving the family has worked hard to integrate into British life. All of his three sons are thriving at school and the eldest, Navin, is in his second year at University studying Computer Science.

“Resettlement is really important for the future of the younger generation,” says Lok.

For Lok, the education opportunities his boys have been exposed to have far outweighed any challenges they faced through the resettlement process.