Refugee friends made me realize how fortunate we are to enjoy all the freedom we have here in America
In onore della giornata mondiale del rifugiato 2017: Refugee friends made me realize how fortunate we are to enjoy all the freedom we have here in America
Appreciating freedom in America
Thirty years ago, as a young man working as an accountant in Portland, Oregon, I was deeply moved by what I saw on the news about the famine in Ethiopia. I thought of writing a check, but I wanted to do more, so I decided to sponsor Abdu, a refugee from Eritrea. Things worked out so well that I eventually sponsored five refugees over the next couple of years. We lived together as a group in a Habitat for Humanity house.
Muslim and Christian—we were like brothers. Sharing food and laughs and tears and heartache. They did much more for me than I did for them by sharing with me their culture and food, dance and music. They also made me realize how fortunate we are to enjoy all the freedom we have here in America.
Holidays were especially joyful
Holidays were especially joyful as I explained the meaning of each American holiday and the history of each holiday event. To the refugees that I sponsored, Christmas and Thanksgiving were very interesting. They made and decorated with great creativity, using the traditional colors of their own countries. Many lively discussions and laughter and joy ensued. We called the house we shared “the United Nations.”
We celebrated everyone’s first job and first car. We even traveled to Roseburg, Oregon, where there was only one refugee family from Eritrea, just so they would have new friends and connections. We were invited to their local Lutheran Church where we worshiped with them, and the congregation sponsored a party for all refugees and sponsors.
I am very proud of all of them. Kiyar is now a Physician, Mulat is a Pharmacist and Abdu is a Dental Technician. Their dreams have come true amid struggles and hardship.
In onore della giornata mondiale del rifugiato 2017, USAHello is collecting stories of how refugees make our lives better.
USAHello believes newcomers make our country a better place. Reinsediamento non è solo la cosa morale o etica da fare – gode di noi e le nostre comunità pure. Queste storie da individui intorno alla Mostra di paese come sapendo, insegnamento, lavorando con, e forse la cosa più importante, essere amici con, i rifugiati hanno migliorato la vita degli americani.
Mondo dei rifugiati giorno giugno 20, 2017
Trovare eventi nella vostra comunità e imparare come si può celebrare la giornata mondiale del rifugiato 2017.