Beginning together: refugees and ISD
Working with refugee children and their families to help them integrate into their new communities has provided two grade 12 students with a deeper appreciation of what it means to rebuild your life in a new country.
By Anna and Lexi
More in common than you might think
Members of the ISD community and the newly arrived refugees share more similarities than you might expect. Being a large community from over 50 countries, it is crucial that we think about how we can support not only people in faraway countries, but also our direct neighbours on Leuchtenberger Kirchweg.
Many backgrounds, one simple goal
It is easy to walk past the refugee centre and be unaware of the diversity – diversity of cultures, backgrounds and languages – that exists in such a small space. However, despite their differences, these people are all aiming at one common goal: to start a new, better life.
Providing a childhood they deserve
The Refugee Support Group is specifically targeted towards helping our young local refugees to integrate into the German community and to make them feel welcomed and included. Through monthly baking sessions or weekly German tutoring, movie nights, arts and crafts and sports events, we aim to support the parents in providing the little ones with a childhood they deserve. We love to hear the ideas of the children and to share with them our European traditions. We strive to share our experiences and culture, especially through the yearly Christmas gift exchange.
A rewarding experience
Being a part of such a privileged school community and working with the refugees, has demonstrated that the definition of new beginnings carries a different significance for all individuals. It has been inspiring to witness the proactive steps taken by even the youngest children in learning the local language and helping the new ones to do the same. With each visit, we are able to see how the harmonious and mutually respectful environment continues to develop.
Having the opportunity to be a part of the refugees’ new beginning has offered so much more than we initially expected; we have built new relationships, gained cultural insights and acquired a deeper appreciation of the lives we live.