Coming from an ethnically diverse town, I have been subjected to a global way of thinking since I was born. The town I grew up in is proof that globalization is prominent no matter where one looks; whether it is where toys made in China or shoes made in Honduras. Since we live in such a globalized world, it is our duty as human beings to offer asylum when unspeakable crimes against a group of people are committed. Having prior knowledge of the UNHCR, the subject of refugees has always been an interest of mine. Refugees often never truly find social justice, and too few do not have the resources necessary to make a good life for themselves and their family elsewhere. Often times the situation goes unsolved for years, which we especially see in the case of the Palestinians. Although I have little knowledge on how I can actually assist these refugees, this class has given me a great opportunity to learn more and finally take action.
A great place to start in dealing with a topic as sensitive as this is by studying the history of refugees. That is why going to the Ukrainian national museum was such a good place to visit for the beginning of the semester. Not only did they provided great visual aids depicting what a refugee goes though, but although a little outdated, they provided a center for those who suffered in the displaced persons camps, which is crucial for every refugee when they are adapting to the cultural of a new country. Because of this visit, the one sentence that now defines me as person is “I support the Ukraine National Museum…” but I digress. What happened to the people of Ukraine happens in too many places in today’s world. Hearing stories from people descended from refugees infers to me that the suffering of a refugee transcends generations. It comes as no surprise that these people need help. The unfortunate and unfair disadvantage they have from the begging of their suffering does not completely disappear in the United States.
Forming a relationship with foreign people who come to the USA for asylum is one of the most important things one can do to assist these people. They come to this country out of chance and luck, with little to no knowledge of what life is like in the USA. Even worse, their English skills are often times quite shoddy. Having experience in tutoring underprivileged kids, I would be more than happy to assist a family that has come to the United States in whatever schoolwork they have. In order to provide for the family and raise their kids in a relatively safe environment, they must know the new dangers they face in America, and especially a city like Chicago. Although this may sound quite ominous, lions in Sudan become thieves and murders in the US. The relationship I am expecting to form with my family is that of close companionship and I will be more than willing to assist in whatever way I can, no matter how challenging the task may be. However, if the family requests something I am incapable of doing, I am not afraid to say “no.”
Refugees are people too, and a personal relationship with a native of the country is important in assisting their adaptation to America. That is what I hope to do with my family. It can be tough living in an environment that is strange to you, but it is even worse if you cannot speak the language of the native people. I hope to close that cultural gap, and assist the family’s immersion in the English language. Although we may be students, providing social justice to people who have been deprived of it for the majority of their lives is the greatest thing one can give back to their community, which consists of people from all over the world.