A Vietnamese family’s 14-year search for a new home ended this week in Ottawa.
The Hoangs left Vietnam for the Philippines in 2000, saying they were being harassed by their government for their political views and the fact Loan Hoang’s father worked for the Americans during the Vietnam War.
They got asylum, then refugee status in the Philippines, but said it wasn’t what they were looking for.
“We got nothing, (we) cannot open business, we cannot work and we cannot vote. We don't have the right to buy a house,” said Van Viet Hoang.
The family applied for refugee status in Canada but were rejected twice, and stuck in the Philippines until the Vietnamese Canadian Federation got involved.
The group has sponsored 16 families for a total of 58 people to come to Ottawa out of the approximately 2,500 Vietnamese refugees in the Philippines.
“Canadian people opened their hearts, opened their arms, given us a chance to have our freedom back,” said Ha Quyen Nguyen with the federation, who said her husband fled Vietnam for Canada during the war.
“If Canadians help us, why don’t we, the Vietnamese, help our own Vietnamese people?”
The Hoangs arrived in Ottawa on Sunday and said they know what they want to do now that they’ve finally reached Canada.
“I want to be a professional chef,” Van said.
“I want to get good grades, go to a good school and get a good job in the future,” said his 11-year-old daughter Amy.