Refugees in Chicago
The Chicagoland area is dense with more than 30,000 refugees who have settled in since 2002. These refugees experience traumatic events, starting with having no choice but to leave their home countries for reasons that are out of their control, and then having to migrate and resettle into the unknown. After interviewing Lynn Gordon, the founder of Madonna Mission (a non for profit that helps refugee families through action in learning), I learned that, although the logistics of resettlement (finding a home, learning a new language) are difficult, the hardest part is finding a new community, one where you can really open up to and share your experiences with.
“Opening doors of welcome through education” -Madonna Mission
So How Can Positive Psychology Help?
A portion of Tribe talked about traumatic experiences, such as war, and how hard it can be for humans to heal and assimilate back into society. A lot of times, people end up missing traumatic experiences once they are over because they felt a sense of teamwork and strong connection to others when they were working to overcome obstacles. Comparing modern society to Native American society, Tribe reveals how it is almost impossible for humans to fully recover from traumatic experiences these days because people aren’t given the opportunity to express their anger and sadness to the rest of the community the way Native Americans were able to with the Gourd Dance. Tribe taught me that communication is a concept that can help people recover emotionally from traumatic experiences, both from expressing their feelings and from forming strong connections with others.
My Contribution to the Solution
I am planning on giving this storybook to the refugee children at Madonna Mission to help them learn about the importance of communication and its affect on healing. It also stresses the idea that people still need support after a negative experience because a lot of times the biggest struggle is after the trauma. By personalizing the story and reflecting on the events in the story at every page, the children can truly grasp the message. I hope that after reading this story, the refugee children will not hold back in expressing their emotions during hard times and comforting others through the power of communication.
There are a lot of other ways to help refugees! Here are some links that identify some of the biggest refugee non for profits in America if you are interested in volunteering or getting involved in any way!
Husain, Nausheen, and Ryan Marx. “Refugees in Illinois: More than 40% from Banned Countries.” Chicagotribune.com, 30 Jan. 2017, www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-muslim-refugees-in-illinois-htmlstory.html.
“Refugee Health TA.” Refugee Health TA, refugeehealthta.org/physical-mental-health/mental-health/adult-mental-health/traumatic-experiences-of-refugees/.
Pictures in the interactive storybook:
“Dolly Vector Images (over 670).” VectorStock, www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vectors/dolly-vectors.h
“Nested & Doll Vector Images (over 850).” VectorStock, www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vectors/nested-doll-vectors.\
“Stick Person #1889537 (License: Personal Use).” Picture Of Stick Figure – Clipart Library – Clip Art Library, clipart-library.com/clipart/5cRrg5xEi.htm.
Google Search, Google, www.google.com/search?biw=1333&bih=727&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=G-G3XPrYOLHc5gLk7qegBw&q=happy girl sad girl&oq=happy girl sad girl&gs_l=img.3..0j0i8i30.19182.21238..21465…0.0..0.87.1386.19……1….1..gws-wiz-img…….0i67j0i30.zsac8vtFc-4#imgrc=czO0MLO6lJbhLM:
Google Search, Google, www.google.com/search?biw=1333&bih=727&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=XOO3XJaAIqeL5wK_3ZyQBw&q=cartoon art pallet&oq=cartoon art pallet&gs_l=img.3..0j0i10i24.2133.3520..3722…1.0..0.81.582.8……1….1..gws-wiz-img…….0i67j0i8i30.m36bict_vcs#imgrc=vnGAl6pE9SJggM:
“Cartoon Question Mark Images.” Shutterstock, www.shutterstock.com/search/cartoon question mark.
Hempel, Shawn. “Animated Cartoon Lightbulb Loop Invention Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty-Free) 6441422.” Shutterstock, www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-6441422-animated-cartoon-lightbulb-loop-invention-idea-concept.