African Food is Delicious: TSOS at the One Journey Festival
On June 24, 2023, TSOS had the opportunity to join with NoVA Friends of Refugees and other organizations at the One Journey Festival, a celebration of unity, diversity, and refugee contributions and talent.
It was so fun.
There were dozens of booths of organizations on the ground helping refugees. There were performances of refugee talents, including dance, poetry readings, and singing. There was an entire row of arts and crafts for sale, all benefitting refugees. I spent a long time admiring some paintings done by a refugee from Ukraine, all sunflowers. If I could, I would have bought them all. And the food! Food trucks of all different varieties were lined up down the road. I ate plaintains, beans, chicken and red rice from an African food truck. Absolutely delicious. The food alone was worth the trip.
TSOS displayed a map, “We all share a home”, signifying how all of us are one. The map made people curious about our work, and so many people added a fingerprint to our map, showing where their story started. We had prints from all over the world.
In addition to organizations, many refugees also attended the festival, looking for help, information, connection, and also just looking to have a nice time on a lovely day. Our intern- turned-volunteer, Nagita, helped translate. A refugee from Afghanistan, Nagita is passionate about women’s rights and education.
Throughout the day, as we spoke to so many different people from so many different places who had so many stories to tell, I felt grateful to be a part of it all. Diversity adds richness to our lives and to our communities. And we have so much to learn from each other.
Thank you again to One Journey Festival for having us. We are looking forward to next year!
Their Story is Our Story (TSOS) was privileged to participate inECDC’s 2023 National Conference, August 23-24, 2023. Addressing the theme “Hope and Resilience,” both local and national leaders and advocates responded to the challenges of the past few years and looked forward to the future of refugee resettlement with a renewed sense of optimism.
The Afghan Adjustment (AA) has been reintroduced in both the House (H.R.4627) and the Senate (S.2327) of the United States by a bipartisan group of legislators. We invite you to join us in honoring our promise to our Afghan allies by urging your representatives to pass the Afghan Adjustment!
It is often our individual talents and passions that lead us to story projects. That was the case when a local organization Nova RAFT (Resettle Afghan Families Together) told us about a group of Afghan youth who were using art to express their experiences from evacuation to resettlement. That germinated an idea of hosting an Art Workshop with TSOS DC-Community Liaison, Annie Gedicks, who teaches art at Nova Community College.