Many refugees feel ashamed of being called "refugees," others feel minimized or relegated…
But until you know how much it has impacted your life, you’ll never stand in front of people and proudly shock them with you fascinating experiences. Being a refugee is schooling, it’s like going to school to learn subjects such as … patience, hope, endurance, perseverance, tolerance, humility, love, struggle.
These are the subjects you don’t learn in college or high school. These you learn from the world, going to school or not, and as refugees, our status allows us to earn a degree in these majors. Today we are in the United States, the land of opportunity. We are given most of the rights as an American and considered as American citizens … it is the time to implement all the lessons you learn while struggling.
Every human being has an experience; never let yours pull you down by trying to lean on it your entire life … use it to improve yourself and not to discourage yourself.
Now you can work, go to school, have dreams and have much higher percentages of achieving your dreams compared to the 99 percent risk of poverty that refugees in third world countries have. I had wealth, I lost it. I had a family I lost them. I was in school, I stopped. I had a home, now I don’t… These are the stories we were in, but remember! After all that, we carried on suffering for years in refugee camps and wished we would be saved.
Now we are somewhere were we can rebuild our lives again, the memories may come back to haunt you. These memories coming back to take back the courage you gained while struggling, the strength, the endurance, hope, perseverance and to make you depressed and traumatized even more compared to when you were in the refugee camp. Please! Do not let this happen to you, you are a hard worker, not lazy, you had been living with hope for years. That's how you reached here hoping, Refugee Day after Refugee Day … you endured the pain of living in a tent those who were in Kakuma, Kenya, of building your own house those who were in Maheba, Zambia, of farming in the desert of Botswana where it never rains, of sleeping in the street of South Africa, while you were crossing those borders illegally and putting your life on the line walking in the middle of the wildest forest ever… that’s the courage we need here to rebuild, that the hope we need to make our life better, that the endurance we should have when it comes to learning English, looking for a job, trying to integrate into this new land that we are generously welcomed in by our loving new friends in Boise.
I understand we are refugees. I understand we had lost all we had. I even understand that we feel bad and sometimes we can't sleep due to depression and anxiety, but what i do not understand is, how can a refugee loose hope?
Hope is what got you here. Hope is what lived on for the past 20 years in refugee camps, and by hoping you managed to live day after day until today here in the U.S., look what you were and what you've become, then tell me you did not prosper....
And remember, "prayers," we know what that is ... many people have come to me here and asked me in astonishment: "How do you guys manage to live happily after all that you've been through?" Come on... you'll know how we managed, we had hoped in God before we were born, our mothers raised us with hope, some of them had no wealth, some of them where refugees, some of them had no home ... we grew up by hope and faith. If they are not the same words, the faith of hoping that God is going to change our situation someday. Living in the refugee camp on a daily basis where you never have to make a plan. Everything is daily, as we say in Swahili "ya kesho yajuwaye ni Mungu," tomorrow is in the hand of God. we just believe in God, that's it .... we highly believe in God turning our lives when the times are right. That's the reason why we endure and never give up or commit suicide, due to life complications.
If we were able to take a step back and then forward to see what our lives will be tomorrow, I assure you, no one will be crying when going through difficulties ... we all have our destiny, and every bad situation has a good ending to it, unless if you did evil to pay for.
God has created day and night, suffering and happiness .... despite the length of the night, the morning will come, and the sun is going to shine just like other days. Likewise to your suffering, the happiness will come, and you'll enjoy it just like you wanted ... everything has an end to it .. .i was in a refugee camp two years ago, going hungry and and questioning my ego. When will I ever feel safe and saturated? Yet it was just around the corner ... whatever we wish, we shall get but it's only the matter of time and hope.
Hope is the last thing to die in my life. You can take everything out of me, but hope will be the last man standing ... thank you.