You Must Have Hope and Keep Going

QuasimI never got to go to school before. Right when I started going to my first school, the civil war started in Somalia. It was a terrible, dark time. Everyone was running for their life. I was very young then.

We left Somalia and went to Kenya. Life in a refugee camp is very hard. It’s worse than prison. We tried to go back to Somalia, but we knew we had to leave again because the situation was worse. I was eight or nine years old the second time we fled. My family lost all our certificates and important documents, so we didn’t know how we were going to survive. We returned to Kenya, and the camp was still horrible. It was overheated. There was no food, no water. We waited over ten years there. We had no choice. It was our only chance.

We got news we could come to the U.S. in 2015. We wanted to leave right away! But our journey was very long and confusing. Our flights were cancelled because of bad weather. When we finally landed in Minnesota, we could relax a little. The second day, we wanted to see everything! But we had to wait for people to show us so we didn’t get lost. The time change was confusing. The people were new. The weather was new. Snow is one of the hardest adjustments. You have to walk like a grandpa! But we felt happy and at peace. There were jobs and a better life. Now I feel like I live in a paradise.

My father started coming to the English Learning Center right away. I learned a lot about school from him. He told me good things and wanted me to get an education and have a better life. I started coming in 2016. I started in beginning level, and now I am level two! You can’t stop coming to school because you need it to survive. I feel happy that I now get to go to school after all these years. It’s free too, and for that I am very grateful.

Right now, I work in adult care. I do cleaning and help with food. I am like a waiter for the older people. It’s a job, and I’m happy to make money. But I don’t want this forever. I want to get a degree and go to college to be a teacher because people taught me, and I want to pass it on. Life is a give and take.

One thing I’ve learned, you don’t know when your dream will happen, but you hope that one day it will. You must have hope and keep going. Otherwise, what do you have? Thank you to everyone who supports and helps make our dreams happen. We need the support. Please do not stop helping us.