Jolly Paw was born in Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups. Due to the Civil War, he and his family fled to Thailand, where they lived in a refugee camp. Living in the camp was difficult as Jolly and the others faced a time of uncertainty about their futures, their children’s education, and how to provide for their families.
Jolly moved to the U.S. with his wife and his two youngest sons. He chose Louisville, Ky., because his brother-in-law lived there and he wanted to be close to family. He heard about JBS through Catholic Charities and started working at our facility, on the Loin Boning line, three months after arriving in the country.
Jolly thinks often of what life was like at the refugee camp – the constant worry about how to provide food, clothing, and shelter for his family ever present. JBS USA has given him the security of not having to fret about any of that. Jolly feels like the plant is his home and he enjoys coming to work every day. He feels a sense of pride in his work and sees his work station as his own farm.
Just a year after starting at JBS USA, Jolly purchased his own home. He also put his two sons through college. One of his sons, Yoba Moo, works at the same facility in Louisville, as a Community Liaison in the HR department.
Back at the refugee camp, Jolly served as a camp leader. That experience, coupled with his strong sense of community, have lead him to become a religious and community leader for the Karen people in Louisville. To preserve and promote the culture and traditions for younger generations, he and other religious leaders organized and work together to provide activities that help them to participate in the culture, with events like a Karen New Year celebration.
Currently, Jolly continues to hold a leadership role within his church and the Karen community and plans to work for JBS USA until he retires, even longer if he is allowed. “I’ve always enjoyed working at JBS,” he said. “I’m satisfied, and it makes me happy.”