Usually my posts are a very light-heart read make you (or at least I hope) smile because of the beautiful things happening with ETSS. I promise the end of this blog will return that, but I have to get something off my mind.
Today I was able to sit in on a meeting between ETSS and YUSA. It was extremely informative and I learned so much about the refugee and immigrant population not only in Central Ohio, but throughout the nation. Refugee families are placed in a location and given an initial 90 day “training” to integrate them in America. Now, I can honestly say I’ve taken 3 month long classes and came out of them with nothing, so I can not even imagine the stress and urgency that is placed on these families to learn everything in those 90 days. 90 days just isn’t enough time, hence the utmost importance of organizations like ETSS and the programs they provide. These families comes to ETSS because they trust them and they are in need of services, or do not know where to start looking for services. ETSS is ESSENTIAL to the PROPER integration of these people. Yes people. Despite some political rhetoric, refugees are indeed people and deserve every opportunity you or I have.
During this meeting there was talk of collaboration and a need for more resources in Central Ohio. There was talk of reaching out to some federal aid and a question was raised, “Would those resources still be available given the political climate”. This just broke my heart. The fact that organizations are trying to save lives (suicide rates are extremely real when refugees are not properly integrated) and provide these programs and opportunities for adults and youth but have to stop and worry about bureaucracy is infuriating. These political figures are promoting hate and leaking it’s toxicity into ignorant communities. I hate to pull this card, but America was literally founded on acceptance of all. What ever happened to, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”? Huh? I would love to even ask those political figures if they know what that is or where it’s located or really any question an intelligent person could answer. I don’t care if times have changed or ineffective, mediocre laws have been regurgitated by corporate bought Congresses. These are lives, human lives and that’s really all it boils down to.
So there’s my super serious rant. On a brighter note I was able to visit sites this week! It was so great being able to meet some of the youth benefiting from the program and just seeing them being kids and having fun. It doesn’t matter how we receive the families, it only matters how we can help them. And I personally believe allowing a child a unique, memorable childhood is one of the greatest gifts you can give. On an even brighter note, I had my very first Nepali meal this week! The restaurant’s name is “Namaste” and I had Chicken curry with rice. It was amazing. Peep the picture below. 😛