Purpose: Refugees Need Your Voice

It is with the greatest honor and humility to continue my Internship in Migration and Refugee Services. It is also very exciting to report to work knowing that I have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. This week has been an awesome week at work and I’m glad to be getting more responsibilities in terms of helping newly arrived Refugees. I continue to learn more about resettlement process in USA. On Monday I worked on preparing financial assistant for families who will be arriving in upcoming days and weeks. Before a family arrives, we prepare vouchers in requesting cheques to help the family when they arrive for food or other means within 24 hours. On Tuesday I worked closely with a lady and helped her to apply for social services. I was also learning as we clicked “next” because it was my first time helping to apply for social services on the Virginia States website. img_20161005_130147-1

It was a very emotional day on Wednesday as my colleague and I went to welcome families from Dulles International Airport. The picture you see above, my colleague took it as I was in deep thoughts. This was my first experience in welcoming families from the airport. As a former Refugee, I was thinking of the excitements and nervousness that goes in one’s mind when resettling into a foreign country for a new life. It is not long ago when my family and I were resettled in Canada as Refugees. We also had an agency together with my big brother who came to receive us from the airport. As I was sitting there on Wednesday waiting for the families to arrive, I was very emotional and filled with excitements for the families and couldn’t wait to welcome them to United States of America and together make this a smooth transition. A young man first arrived and was reunited with his family. We asked him if he had come with any luggage, but all he come with was a small backpack and a plastic bag from International Organization of Migration (IOM) for documents. I could see the excitements in the eyes of the family has they became very emotional and taking lot of pictures. We then waited patiently for over an hour at the airport for another family to arrive. img_20161008_154007

The picture above is from Saturday when I visited Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders’ Exhibition of Forced From Home. They have been next to the Washington Monument for over a week educating people about Refugees and the conditions that they face on daily bases. All the visitors are given a card and that’s where they’re from for over 30min while learning about the dangerous journey Refugees take and how MSF tries to help them with medical assistant. I was given a card which read Afghanistan and others were given Syria and Burundi among others. We then went through the journey and this experience reminded me very much when my family and I would make those dangerous journey in the night to get into another country. At the end of the exhibition, I was talking differently as I was very taken back from the experience and I began to think of my continuous purpose on this earth and where I belong.

With the current Refugee situation continue to worsen, we all have a duty and responsibility to speak out and help. You look at South Sudan, Syria, Burundi and Yemen among countless others, we are called on to do more than just sitting around and watch the numbers of displaced and death continue rising. I kindly ask of you to reach out to organizations helping Refugees and government officials to do more. When you see Refugees in your country, see how you can help them integrate into communities. If you’re blessed financially, give to the organization (s) which you know and believe are truly helping Refugees. And if you have the means of volunteering or working in the fields, go ahead and give back to humanity because you’ll receive greater rewards by doing such work. As for me, I am humbled and honored to be helping Refugees resettled here in United States and I look forward to one day being on the ground in Refugee camps.

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