My family has never forgotten: Former refugee’s message on kindness goes viral

My family has never forgotten: Former refugee’s message on kindness goes viral

A Facebook post by Tat Wa Lay has been shared more than 112,000 times since being posted over the weekend and has attracted more than 130 comments.


Now living in Ho Chi Minh City, Tat Wa Lay told readers about his family’s arrival among a group of 90 refugees in 1984.

Post by Tat Wa Lay on Friday, 4 September 2015.

“With just the cloths on her back and her four children,  [my mother is] confronted with the local people of a council estate,” he said.

“Unable to speak English, she expects hostility and racism. And then this happens. 

“A young scruffy looking man steps up, takes off his coat and handed it to the freezing cold refugees. A gesture so touching, that everybody later followed. 

“People then went home to fetch clothes they didn’t need and handed it to the refugees and ensured they were all fed and watered.”

Tat Wa Lay said his mother never forgot that moment of kindness.

“It’s these things that British people do, that make them truly British,” he said.

“My family has never forgotten what England has done for them. And because you allowed us in, we were able to give so much back to your country.

“You gave us free healthcare. My family gave you three doctors. One has recently started working at Southmead hospital. 

“We never stole your jobs, we created our own and gave some to you. In my family, there are 10 nails shops, three restaurants and 14 Chinese takeaways. We did this to give you amazing food and so we could support ourselves.”

He told the BBC he was shocked by the reaction to his social media post.

“I guess I wanted to change their mindset, to tell them that refugees are really not bad people and that we have so much to give back to the society,” he said.

“I also wanted to promote kindness. I am totally overwhelmed by people’s reactions.”