Through World Relief, a non profit organization dedicated to providing relief for refugees, I have been able to teach English as a second language to a family of three from Darfur.
Together, we worked on reading, writing and speaking the language until the mother was able to speak fluently enough to enroll in school. With the support of a coworker who donated a laptop, we were able to give her the tools she needed to live out her version of the American dream.
When my family came to the U.S, I went through ESL in elementary school so I understood the mother’s frustration when she didn’t learn English quickly. To help her learn, I started teaching myself Arabic and we would trade lessons.
One afternoon while reading out loud from a magazine, she was able to say “acupressure” in perfect English. I’ll never forget the look of pride on her face. Having the opportunity to pay it forward and teach my refugee family was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.