Author Mary Ellen Poe

The Sense of Belonging

When Ann appeared for her citizenship interview and exam before U.S. Immigration in early September, she knew she had to get it right. She was from the Bahamas and five days before taking her exams, Hurricane Dorian flattened the house where she had lived, leaving friends and family members dead or missing. “I had nothing […]

Reunited After 8 Years…

          Nan Mon arrived in the United States as a Burmese refugee in 2011. At the time, she was a young, single mother of a four-year-old son and had spent most of her life in a refugee camp in Thailand. When she and her child were approved to resettle in the […]

Father to see his child for the first time

          In 1996, Mutoni along with her parents and siblings fled the Democratic Republic of Congo. They settled in a refugee camp in Rwanda. Despite the harsh circumstances within the camp, Mutoni met and married a Congolese man named Innocent. Together they had their first child.           […]

“See everything you’ve accomplished!”

When Jelena Milisav meets newly-arrived refugees with young children, her heart goes out to them. “I can’t feel their struggle, but I know my mom felt that.” Just over 20 years ago, Jelena and her family came to Greensboro as Bosnian refugees fleeing the wars that followed the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. At the […]

“Have some food!”

Recently, I found myself enjoying the hospitality of my co-workers. It was the Friday in between Christmas and New Years’, and the CWS office was quiet. I had eaten an early lunch, and by early afternoon, Doha and Ghaisha finally realized they were hungry too. They stepped downstairs to buy a couple of meals for […]

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