Breaking Trail: Their Story is Our Story - Liz Jevtic-Somlai
"We had to put a healthy dose of laughter into the situation to make it bearable. Our will to see the good in the hard situation is what helped us make it through the day.”
In early March, Their Story is Our Story Associate Director Elizabeta (Liz) Jevtic-Somlai shared her experience with Lisa Gerber, host of Breaking Trail podcast and Director of Strategy for Their Story is Our Story.
Originally from Yugoslavia, today’s Serbia, Liz now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. As a teenager, she and her family were forced to flee a country she loved to find new roots and a new way in a strange and unwelcoming country. In sharing her experience during the podcast, she expressed hope to make it more approachable to talk about the refugee journey and destigmatize the label.
While she lost a great deal when she escaped her beautiful country, Liz said, she did not lose who she is or where she came from.
"The importance of sharing the personal narrative is in educating," said Liz during the chat, “We connect to the individual rather than the label itself. With that, people change their thoughts and their actions. Over time, we see an increase in people wanting to help - a crucial element in achieving a wholesome integration into communities."
The podcast aired on Breaking Trail on March 28, 2022.
Why consent matters to us (and why it should matter to you too).
It is especially important to provide accurate information as to how a photo will be used and obtain consent when working with refugees.
Stories are Changemakers: An Instagram Live with Sarah Kippen Wood
Sarah Kippen Wood, Former Executive Director of Their Story is Our Story (TSOS), shares how stories connect and lead to change in an interview with Darien Laird, our Director of External Media. Sarah gives us an inside look at how TSOS functions and shares how telling her story helped her fight a stage four cancer diagnosis.
Uniting for Ukraine: U.S. Sponsors Needed
Just as citizens in Europe and the U.K. have heroically supported displaced Ukrainians by opening up their homes or securing other housing, assisting with school enrollments, employment needs, and language learning, Americans now have the opportunity via the Welcome.us Sponsor Circles program to directly help newly arrived Ukrainians. The United States has committed to welcoming 100,000 Ukrainians temporarily for a period of two-years and the ability to apply for employment authorization in the U.S. as long as they have a U.S.-based sponsor to petition for them.