Leaders in Karen community reach out to Amarillo officials

Leaders in Karen community reach out to Amarillo officials
KFDA
KFDA
Thepa Kaewkhamharn and Rainbow Gold look forward to Sunday's meeting
Thepa Kaewkhamharn and Rainbow Gold look forward to Sunday's meeting

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Leaders in the Karen community have reached out to city officials and requested a meeting to discuss concerns they have with the city.

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There are over 5,000 Karens from Thailand living in Amarillo, according to Catholic Charities, and most of them live on the northeast side of town.

Although they are extremely thankful to call the United States home, they also hope their unique needs can be met.

"We need to hear from the leaders about guidance," said Thepa . "[There are] many things we don't know."

Kaewkhamharn and Rainbow Gold are both leaders in the Karen community. Gold is a refugee from Thailand who fled the brutality of the Burmese military.

"We have a job. We have a lot of foods. We have a [very nice] place to live," said Gold.

However, there are still concerns, one of which is the availability of translators during emergencies.

"Many people can not speak English [well]," said Kaewkhamharn. "They misunderstand, like when they have a car wreck."

The Amarillo Police Department was glad to accept their invitation as they already have neighborhood police in the area who are working on community-police relations.

"We will be sending officers to your meeting on Sunday," Sgt, Carl Burr of APD told Kaewkhamharn and Gold over the phone. "We're looking forward to working with you guys to help in anyway we can."

Others who will attend the meeting will be representatives from the Mayor's office and Tyson Foods.

The meeting will take place this Sunday at the Church of Christ on 15th Street at 2:15 p.m.

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