Archive for January, 2011
Last night, I asked my ESL students to create a drawing of their favorite things to share with our class. Many students in my class are refugees, that is, they have been resettled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees because conditions in their countries of origin are simply too dangerous. War, ethnic strife, starvation and persecution are common reasons.
Not only do their stories remind me that to be born into the United States is an unmerited blessing, but also that these new neighbors carry with them experiences of life and loss that I am privileged to hear and to learn from. Several of my students hold Master’s Degrees – yet they are now looking for janitorial or fast food employment. Others waited for more than two decades to find a country willing to resettle them – and in the meantime, made their lives in refugee camps.
Today, a photo gallery of a few of my favorite people – brave men and women, through the providence of God, starting life over in Richmond, Virginia.No comments