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.
From Contributor, Ann Richmond (Idaho Community Programs Coordinator):
"And while you cook, I hope you read a small part of their story, and that you let that in, as well..."
The story of Resettlement is a shared experience of belonging. As true today as it was for our Forefathers: Their story IS our story. When newcomers feel like they belong, we all thrive.
TSOS was honored to be a guest on the ECDC African Community Center DC Metro's podcast "Resettlement: A Human Journey" to discuss the role of storytelling in the resettlement process. You can listen to the 45-minute Episode 2 on the ECDC ACC-DC Resettlement: A Human Journey website or by searching for their podcast Podbean.