ISSN 1710-6931 May 18, 2007 Issue 99
FEATURE ARTICLES

From A Refugee Camp To A New Life in the United States

When Jenkins Macedo stood in front of a United States immigration representative in Accra, Ghana, last year, he didn't think he would make it through. People before him that day had been rejected refuge in the United States, and there would be more of the same afterwards.

The representative looked at a copy of his resume, listing Macedo's work as a teacher, social worker, youth educator, and Program Coordinator for RESPECT International in the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana. And, to Macedo's astonishment, the immigration official stood up, smiled and said, "Welcome to America."

Macedo says he will never forget those three words that led him to his current life in America. Nor will he forget what he had to go through to get there. A New Life


RESPECT Education Program

RESPECT International stands for Refugee Education Sponsorship Program: Enhancing Communities Together. Incorporated in September 2002, it started out as a pen pal type program created by Marc Schaeffer (a calculus and physics teacher) and has since grown to be a world-wide non-governmental organization (NGO). Today RESPECT is a global network with a growing number of affiliates. Education Program


Letter Exchange Program Brightens Students' Lives

Alfred Kayee, currently serving as program coordinator of RESPECT Ghana, is full of hope despite the challenges he encounters daily.

Originally from Liberia and trained as an agriculturist, Alfred has lived in difficult environments for most of his life.

However, one wouldn't guess that from talking to him. He has retained his sense of humour and loves to joke and enjoy life. Letter Exchange

PHOTO GALLERY

Teachers and students celebrating

Teachers and grade seven students of Assembly of God School, in the Buduburam Refugee Camp, Accra, Ghana celebrate the launch of the RESPECT Global Letter Exchange at their school.

AFFILIATES

Reaching Out And Changing Lives

Raphael Sadiwa, who has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Boston University, volunteers to teach a course on Early Child Development through RESPECT University (RU) to refugee high school graduates in Sierra Leone and Uganda. Here he shares his views on his interaction with his students in Sierra Leone in an interview with Ashok Pillai, a RESPECT University coordinator.

Ashok: Is this opportunity that RESPECT University has provided in any way an eye opener to you as an academician, professional and as a human being? If so how?

Raphael: Yes, RESPECT University has given me a different perspective on the life of people in Sierra Leone (the first country in which I conducted this course). The first lesson I requested of the students was to give a description of themselves and how they are currently helping children in their communities.

When the students answered questions regarding ways of how they are helping children in their communities, I saw a trend regarding the need for such intervention in orphanages in Sierra Leone. I didn't realize how much orphaned children there are in their country.

This realization is helping me to understand more the impact of violence and political instabilities on the health needs of children. Every time there is a civil war or political conflict, children's health needs and development are compromised.

Finally, RU provided me a way, as a pediatric physical therapist, to extend my professional services to children in Africa through educating the people who take care of them. It is amazing that despite the barriers of distance, we can still make an impact on the lives of the refugees.

Ashok: Are your students any different (in outlook, dedication, etc.) from those you see in the universities/schools? If yes, would you elaborate?

Raphael: I was very impressed with the answers of the students for the first lesson. All the assignments were essays so I got a good grasp of their writing abilities. They took great effort in answering the questions. The students also started incorporating the learning materials into their answers. Reaching Out

As in any newsletter or magazine, RESPECT e-zine is committed to striving for interesting articles and announcements concerning refugee issues all around the world.

If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute an article, contact the e-Zine editor, Angela Carter, at editor@respectrefugees.org.

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