UNIV 190-003: Understanding Service and Social Justice: The Refugee Experience in America
My family was a very large family; it had five sons, a mother, and a father. I only saw the mother and father once, the very first time we went. The five sons we all older from 19-33, with having such a large family I had a very large group I worked with. My partners were Jeronimo, Trung, Cyryl, and myself. The first thing I noticed was the language barrier between me and my family. The barrier made it hard at first to communicate and made the situation somewhat awkward. However, after we got to know our family the language barrier meant nothing. Three of the five brothers lived in a one bedroom apartment. This made me sad because of the tight inconvenient space that they called their home. Also, none of the brother knew how to cook, which started to lead to an unhealthy diet.
My experience meant a lot of different things to me. It opened up my heart so to speak and have more compassion. I had been very stereotypical of these people. It showed me that they are people who are struggling and need help. It also means that I need to be more observant with my surroundings. Instead of passing the homeless person on the street stop and talk to them and ask them about their struggles. Working with my refugee family has taught me to be a lot more caring and compassionate. These are attributes that I can carry with me for the rest of my life. Seeing these refugees also shows me that withfaith and love you can overcome any feet, having determination as powerful means that anyone can conquer any task.
Being with my refugee family has made me strive to be a better person. It is teaching me to be happy with my material possessions that I have and that it could be far worse. The refugees leave their home were they have very little to almost nothing and they come here to the same as back home. They come to try and make a better life for themselves and their families. I am glad that I do not have to go through what they do but I feel great remorse for the struggles that they have to come and terrible memories that can haunt dreams. I cannot even imagine what they have gone through and the struggles that they have faced and will face. They inspire me so much to strive to be a better person. They have gone through so much but yet are so humble and kind. They are genuinely humble, sweet, caring people.
I think that the issue of refugees needs to be taken more seriously not only in the United States but throughout wealthy countries across the globe. The United States takes half of refugees that are resettled every year, which is still a small number. If wealthier nations across the world helped work to resettle and take in more refugees, the United States would not have as big of a burden handling them but also more refugees could be resettled and start a new life away from hunger and torment. That is one question that I raise, what can the United States do to get the wealthier nations involved in the refugee process from providing homes for refugees to background checks?
Overall, I have enjoyed being with my family. This class has taught me many things that I did not know about refugees in America and outside of America as well. Working with my family and other refugees has taught me about myself and how to become a better person. It also made me see that the United States takes in so many refugees and now all we need is more countries to take in more as well.