Meet Jeanne, a refugee from Burundi. She and another pregnant friend of hers called me 2 months ago and asked if I could teach them more about birth. We made a date for our first childbirth education class in the garage, and of course some shopping afterwards for their babies-to-be.
The first class was fun and... interesting. I felt a little frantic- trying to distill so many detailed thoughts into a digestible time frame with simple easy-to-understand English. I definitely need to work on what to say and how to teach it.
One thing I noticed was that even the most basic and objective questions on her birth plan were shrouded in confusion...
"What hospital do you plan to deliver at?"
"Do you know where it is?"
Wouldn't it be wonderful for each pregnant refugee woman in San Diego to be connected to a local mentor, someone willing to invest a few hours a month into a relationship with them to help them navigate through another new and overwhelming transition in life? Even something as simple as doing a preemptive drive-by of the hospital- just to see it- could be helpful. From my travels in foreign places I have always been extremely grateful for the generous extension of a locals knowledge.
All this to say... there is a lot of talk in the media right now about refugees, and it is getting very political. The plight of the refugee does not stop when they reach their new country. The struggle continues. The best way to support a refugee is to get to know one personally. If you are interested in doing this let me know, I'd love to help you!