There’s a group of kids in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who speak English, Arabic, Urdu, Spanish, and French as they explore the wilderness and listen for bird calls.
“The summer camps and afterschool programs we offer, while very helpful for the children, are meant to supplement the help that the children will get from their mentors, once they are matched,” Danielle Hernandez, the mentoring program coordinator, tells Laura Paskus of the NM Political report.
The children – many of whom don’t speak English – often arrive shy. Through the program, mentors have noticed a big shift in both curiosity about their natural surroundings and with each other.
Most of these kids are refugees, brand new to New Mexico. Adjusting to a big move is hard for any kid, especially if you don’t speak the language and the new home halfway across the planet. This program helps refugees and immigrants find a sense of place and community in their new landscape. Getting to interact with this new environment – bugs, plants, people – is thrilling for them. They learn, explore, and get to just be, well, kids.
If you’re itching to make a tangible positive impact on mitigating the refugee crisis, read our piece outlining 4 ways you can help a refugee.