I was fortune enough to get paired with a family from Nepal that consisted of the mother, father, daughter and grandmother. My partner, Teresa, and I had three mentors who were already involved and familiar with the family, which was a huge help because they made us feel comfortable in a new environment. The family was very friendly, when we visited; they welcomed us with the traditional greeting of the Nepal cultural. What I saw from this family was that they were very much comfortable being in the United States and they kept a united front. Even though the family consisted of four members, they had relatives living in the same building so they spent all day together. The kids interacted with the adults in their native language, but to us they spoke fluent English. A typical visit consisted of us helping the kids-the daughter and her cousins- with their homework, play games with them and enjoy the stories and youtube videos they shared. When it was getting closer to leave the mother would feed us noodles with soup even though we were not hungry. In the beginning of the visits we would go with our mentors, but as we got comfortable with the family we started going alone. Going alone helped us form stronger relationship with the kids and the mother and father. When we went to visit, the mother was doing my roommates braid and we were conversing with each other about our families and it formed a sense of bond because she opened up to us and we opened up to her.
This experience was very special and meant a great deal to me because my father came illegally to the united states and received little to no help from people so by me having the opportunity to help a family who faced a similar situation was very touching and rewarding. This experience showed me that it is important to step out of my comfort zone because it will lead me to great and wonderful things. For example, working with a family who is from Nepal a place that I was unaware before I met them. If someone would have told me that I would be working with a family that was not Mexican and barely spoke the languages I spoke I would be hesitant and reluctant to go, but now through this experience I learned that stepping out of my comfort zone would help broaden my view of refugee’s struggles. This experience taught me that the community in which I serve has consent struggles and they need consistent help because if they get helped for a few months and stop receiving aid they will not know what to do resulting in their misfortunes. The community of Rogers Park can also be more effective in helping refugees by spreading the word in churches and community centers that refugees need assistance in whatever shape or form that is available. This illuminates the issues that were discussed in class, refugees are not receiving proper and sufficient aid, and some refugees are left in little apartments and have a family of five or more. Also, this highlights the issues that refugees are being left to fend for them in a whole new world that they are not accustomed to.
I am challenged to observe more acutely because I have seen first hand the injustices refugees face and I never thought they were treated this badly so I need to observe closely the agencies and call for justice. I new questions such as, how can agencies just stop helping families knowing that they have nothing? Are their actions justifiable, do they need to fix their law to create more effective resettlement among refugees? Regarding the issues of refugees many things need to get done, first many people need to get aware of what are refugees and the struggles they face and then they need to establish more programs to effectively help the refugee long term not just for a couple of months.