I had my first experience with refugees from Laos in 1980. I’m the boy in the photo on the left. My mother was involved in helping several families, who had been living in refugee camps in Thailand, resettle in Nashville. At age six, in some ways, my job wasn’t much different than her’s. Be myself and be a friend.
They had to flee their country because their lives were in danger. Some of their family did not survive.
As an adult I’ve been fortunate to know many former refugees. Today most are well established citizens because someone, years earlier, was willing to help them navigate the challenges of assimilating into a new world.
I share this with the hope that it may benefit those with concerns about refugees today.
There is a Lao saying, “Ten mouths speaking are not as good as seeing with one’s own eyes; ten eyes that see are not as good as what one has in one’s hand.”
One-on-one experience makes a difference.