Week 3: We’re glad you’re our neighbor

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A flag matching game on World Refugee Day (6/20)

This week, I continued researching and talking with refugees to learn more about their home countries and how they came to the United States of America.  This job continues to be a humbling and enlightening experience.

World Refugee Day was on Tuesday (June 20th), and CRIS hosted an event at Columbus Humanities Arts and Technology Academy.  Cookies, henna, and games kept guests busy and taught them about the refugee experience.  One game included matching flags to the their country; another had people guess the origin-country percentages of CRIS arrivals.

My job included selling signs that say, “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor,” in 3 languages.  One version of the sign said the phrase in Somali, English, and Arabic; the other version was in Spanish, English, and Arabic.  I love these signs because people can put them in their front lawns and refugees and/or immigrants in their neighborhood will know they are accepted and loved.  You can also buy these signs online here and all of the proceeds will go to CRIS to help refugee and immigrant families we serve!

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One of the signs I sold on World Refugee Day (writing in Somali, English, and Arabic from top to bottom, respectively)

Additionally, people had some fun taking pictures in painting cardboard cutouts of people in different traditional clothing.  Elementary school students from Northtowne Elementary School created the cutouts and allowed us to borrow them.

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Me (right) and a fellow intern, Sydney, in one of the cut-outs.

It was great to see people from the community supporting refugees.  With all of the negativity in the news, it’s nice to meet people face-to-face who care about the cause.  Some refugees also came, which is even better, because they were able to see that people care about them.

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The World Refugee Day event at Columbus Humanities

Overall, it was a great experience participating in World Refugee Day and I plan on continuing the effort every year!


About Katy Nash

I'm a rising Junior at Miami University majoring in International Studies and Economics. This summer, I am a Fellow for the Columbus Foundation at the Community Refugee and Immigration Services in Columbus, Ohio. On this blog, I'll be documenting my experience!
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