Sakina’s favorite thing about being in America is that it is safe and she gets to go to school.
Story & Photography by Heather Esposito
Meet Sakina. She is 6 years old and in first grade. This is her first time ever getting to attend school and she LOVES it! She is a big sister to Mahommad and little sister to Tiba.
She is the shy one when strangers are around but just wait until she gets to know you. Then she’s a firecracker! Abas, our interpreter, kept teasing her because she was being so quiet. Usually she talks non-stop.
Like most middle children, she seems to kind of blend in and then pop, there she is! She is so sweet and eager to please her parents.
Sakina’s favorite thing about being in America is that it is safe and she gets to go to school. She loves playing and making friends. She is super excited because she has made three friends in her class even though she speaks very little English. She loves her teacher and playing with her friends. One of her favorite things to do at home is to help cook, especially if cookies or cake are on the menu.
Our team members obtain informed consent from each individual before an interview takes place. Consent forms are translated and explained in the individual’s primary language. Individuals dictate where their stories may be shared and what personal information they wish to keep private. In situations where the individual is at risk and/or wishes to remain anonymous, alias names are used and other identifying information is removed from interviews immediately after they are received by TSOS. We have also committed not to use refugee images or stories for fundraising purposes without explicit permission. Our top priority is to protect and honor the wishes of our interview subjects.