Zaw Win’s journey from Burma to Buffalo, New York was not a matter of just buying an airline ticket.
梭温从缅甸来到美国,不仅是需要买一张机票而已。

He spent five years as a political prisoner in his native country where Win says he was tortured and starved. Escaping after paying smugglers to hide him in the bottom of a fishing boat, he eventually made it to the United States where he was granted asylum. In 2005, he was resettled in Buffalo.
他在自己的国家里,作为一名政治犯,蹲了五年监狱,遭受虐打和饥饿。最后花钱找到了走私贩子,让他隐藏在一艘渔船的舱底,潜逃出境。他最后获得美国的政治庇护,2005年定居在纽约州的布法罗市。

Now, Win runs a laundromat where the walls are plastered with colorful posters denouncing Burma’s military junta.
缅甸移民梭温现在经营一家自动洗衣店。店里的墙壁上布满了谴责缅甸军人执政团的彩色张贴。

“Whenever I put the sign, the customer they ask me question and they can explain current situation in my country," he says. "Where is location of Burma? What happening in Burma now? Who is the leader now? What is the military dictatorship?”
他说:“我一贴上这些图样,就有顾客问我一些问题,他们因此也了解一些缅甸的情况。例如‘缅甸在哪里?目前情势如何?谁是国家的领导人?军事独裁又是怎么回事?’”

Thousands of Buffalo residents already know the answers. Like Win, they fled from Burma. And they also landed in America’s third poorest city unable to speak English with almost no money or job prospects. But some long-time residents see investing in these refugees as Buffalo’s way forward.
布法罗有很多居民都知道如何回答这些问题。他们也和梭温一样从缅甸逃到美国。他们来到这个美国第三贫穷的城市,不懂英语,没钱又没有希望找到工作。但是长久住在这座城市的居民,像邦尼.斯密斯一样,看出了投资在这些难民身上可以为布法罗带来的前景。

“What we feel like we’re doing is just giving people a little leg up on prosperity and we’ve seen people take hold of that and blossom with it," says Bonnie Smith. "Slowly the community begins to improve.”
邦尼.斯密斯说,“我们感觉这么做,只是稍稍帮助他们一下,让他们起步,迈向繁荣。我们已经看见他们藉着这股助力,兴盛起来,也逐渐改善了这里的社区。”

Working through her church, the retired businesswoman helped Win develop a business plan and provided collateral for him to get a microloan. It’s something he never would have qualified for on his own. In the past decade, close to 10 nonprofits in Buffalo have started or added refugee resettlement to their mission. That can include English classes, driving lessons or help buying and improving one of the economically-depressed region’s thousands of abandoned homes.
邦尼.斯密斯是一名退休的职业妇女,她透过她的教会,协助梭温发展他的生意,并且提供他获得小型贷款的担保。没有斯密斯的帮助,梭温是不可能靠自己拿到贷款的。过去十年来,布法罗的非营利组织加强了对定居难民的协助--从开办英语和驾驶训练班,到协助他们购买和修理因为经济萧条而久经废弃的房屋。

Cities along the Great Lakes used to rule the American economy, manufacturing steel by the shipload. Now, these once mighty metros are known as the Rust Belt. Since the aging industrial plants in Buffalo started closing in the 1950s, more half of its population has left. But now, thousands are moving in: refugees from Burma, Sudan and other far-away, conflicted places. Officials are trying to turn their relocation into a renaissance.

According to Aaron Bartley, director of PUSH Buffalo, refugees are perfect candidates to bring Rust Belt cities back to life. “The way we’re going to solve that is by making it a neighborhood people want to stay in. And a neighborhood the various communities - whether they’re Burmese, Somalian, Sudanese, Liberian - want to put down roots in. That they don’t see it as a stopping point to get to another place.”
布法罗“人民联合维护房舍”组织的负责人阿伦.巴特里说,这些难民是为“生锈地带”挽回生机的最佳人选。他说:“我们解决这项问题的方式是,让这里成为人们愿意留下来的社区,成为一个包含多样文化背景的社区,不管他们来自缅甸、索马里、苏丹或是利比里亚,都愿意在这里扎根,而不是把这里当作一个临时落脚的地方。”

This wouldn’t be happening on such a large scale without the Refugee Protection Act of 1980. The law was designed to stop population loss in Rust Belt cities like Buffalo, Detroit and Cleveland by subsidizing refugee resettlement there. About 1,500 refugees came to Buffalo just last year.
如果没有美国1980年通过的保护难民法案,这里就不会有难民大规模定居。这项法案籍着对定居难民的资助,使“生锈地带”的布法罗、底特律和克利夫兰等城市的人口不致继续流失。仅仅在去年,就有一千五百名难民迁入布法罗市。

“Even with that 1,500 refugees, we still saw a population decline in our community. We’re still trying to catch up even with those refugees coming in,” says Molly Short, who runs Journey’s End, one of Buffalo’s four resettlement agencies.
布法罗市四家协助难民定居的机构之一,“旅程终止”的负责人莫利.肖特说:“即使迁入了这一千五百名难民,我们的人口还是在下降。即使有难民迁入,我们还要努力提高人口的数量。”

While most American cities have one agency like hers, the Rust Belt is home to dozens and Short says they can barely meet the demand. She adds that resettlement services have been severely hurt by federal budget cuts in recent years. Often times, the agencies can’t predict what help a refugee needs to feel at home.
美国大部分城市都有一个类似肖特负责的组织,而生锈地带却有几十个协助难民的组织。莫利.肖特说,像她负责的这类服务组织,近几年来由于联邦预算的减低,都深受其害。他们的机构经常无法预知难民们需要什么样的协助。

“Sometimes we’ll have a refugee arrive who has literally never been in a car before they left a refugee camp, never used electricity and then we have refugees come in who are doctors and scientists and mathematicians.”
她说,“有时我们接待的难民在离开难民营之前从来没有乘过汽车,也从来没有使用过电动产品,而有时又遇到一些原来是医生,科学家和数学家的难民。”

And many times, the educated and illiterate are competing for the same small pot of jobs.
她说,受过良好教育和几乎文盲的难民经常在争取少数的同样工作。

While Burmese refugee Win feels quite welcome in Buffalo, some customers can be difficult and Win feels business could be better.
尽管来自缅甸的梭温说,他感觉在布法罗非常自在,但有时受到的对待还是像冬天一样的冰冷。

“Not really bad, not really good. So-so. Not much money for my pocket. And then for future more and more better, I believe this.”
梭温说,“生意不好也不坏,还过得去。我口袋里没有多少钱。但我相信未来会越来越好。”

Win says his microloan will be paid off in a year or two. Then, he plans to assist others just as he was aided - helping out-of-work refugees open their own shops and create their own jobs.
梭温说,他的贷款可以在一、两年之内还清。然后,他要帮助其他找不到工作的难民开办自己的商店,创立自己的事业。