We call him Mayor Ushab. Ushab isn’t actually a mayor, at least not yet. He was an eight year old boy, a student in a classroom where I was a teaching assistant, and he’s just like any other kid in Westfield. He loves to play soccer, he enjoys spending time with his friends, he gets a kick out of digging up worms, and he dreams of becoming the mayor of our city one day. Ushab is just like other eight year old kids, except he was born in a refugee camp in Nepal.
Ushab is one of the thousands of children who have been forced to flee their homelands due to war, poverty, disease, famine or political oppression. Currently, our politicians are debating about how to handle these international humanitarian crises, but while they do this, our attention strays from what actually matters- the people in need. The global problems…show more content… Some of these children immigrated to the United States for political or religious reasons, while others – like Ushab – were granted asylum so they could escape the refugee camps. Though they were only eight years old, these children have faced more change and tragedy than I hope to encounter in my entire lifetime. Each day that I spent with these kids, I was able to contribute something that improved their lives, and each day, they contributed something that improved mine.
One morning during a field trip, the class went kayaking. The purpose of this experience was to get some exercise and to have some fun, so I had thought. The Nepalese children, however, were astounded that water could be used for recreational purposes, and not purely for survival. My heart dropped as the children talked about a lack of water in the refugee camps. Often, there wasn’t enough to drink and there was never enough to put out the fires that started during the dry summer