"We listened to [Angela Merkel's] warm words encouraging Germans to embrace the refugees flooding into Europe at that moment. We had tears in our eyes and agreed whole-heartedly with her vision to welcome refugees..."
"Refugee families have had a very difficult time sending their children back to school because they cannot afford the school fees at the private schools their children have to attend..."
"The title refugee, is a badge of honor like prisoner of war or Holocaust survivor. It says something about a person’s life experience and personal strength to survive..."
For many children, playdates and adventures are a natural part of childhood, but for those who have resettled into new communities from war-torn countries, the gift of a carefree childhood may be a luxury that doesn't come naturally.
“You don’t know, what you don’t know, ... If you never get in touch with someone new, you don’t learn anything. Every culture has developed really beautiful parts. Hopefully, by coming to a safe place, people can let the wall down and share their beautiful parts with the rest of us.”
"I’ve found that serving brings indescribable joy and that small actions can build individuals in remarkable ways..."
"For all their uncertainty, one of their greatest needs, and probably one of the greatest needs of everyone, (after basic physical needs are met), is for friendship..."
As much as my newcomer friends may need help in successfully integrating into their new communities, the rest of us have much to gain from their lived experience, maybe especially in a pandemic-filled world of uncertainty.
For the millions of Venezuelans who have traveled on foot to escape crisis, COVID-19 complications have forced many to turn back. How do they maintain hope?
Through a successful model of building welcoming communities, Fairfax County, Virginia brings community-based organizations together to better meet the needs of vulnerable populations.