By Tessa Guthrie
My Year 10 STEAM Social Studies class had the great privilege of holding a video call with Borany Kanal.
Borany is the author of ‘Borany’s Story’, a biography about her experiences as a refugee who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide. She was only seven when Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. Borany and her family had to flee their home, pushing a car full of food and supplies to villages where they would live with other refugees until they were told to move again, to put it mildly, it was a tough journey. The genocide lasted for four years from 1975-1979. In those years most of her extended and large family died, either from the lack of medicine or malnourishment.
Her journey as a refugee ended in New Zealand where she was granted asylum and rebuilt her life with just her mother, brother and stepfather (the only ones who survived). In the video call, Borany told us that she is now happily married with two sons and a daughter, living in the USA. My biggest learning from reading her book and calling with her was how she was able to overcome every single obstacle she faced.