From Rwanda to the United States: How Tragedy Turned into Success

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How would it feel to lose almost everything to a factor that is beyond your control? One minute having family, friends, and the community together, and the next divided by uncontrollable turmoil attributable to a certain political affiliation. For many Rwandans, the struggle of keeping hope alive during a time when most would do almost anything in order to survive is all too real. Many Rwandans were killed, separated from their love ones, fled to neighboring countries in fear of being persecuted; some became allies with the dominant political group as a way to keep them alive, while only a few fortunate families were able to find refuge in refugee camps in neighboring countries. An even smaller percentage of Rwandans were given the opportunity to be resettled in the United States. Throughout this paper, I seek to explore the definition of a refugee, the processes it takes to become a refugee, what were the steps that my interviewees took that allowed them into the United States, and what traumatic experience they faced. I believe it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the struggles of a refugee. For me researching information on Rwanda and its history as well as interviewing refugees that I know personally has opened my eyes to how hard life is living in a third world country where unlike the United States citizens are governed and protected by a governmental legal system. Knowing that if there was ever any conflict within the United States I can with ease choose to leave whenever and live wherever I want makes me proud to be an American. Being an American citizen the need to show documentation when going to another country in no way shape or form compares to the struggles refugees face when seeking asylum, and trying to get approval to be resettled in a third country when mostly all refugees have lost everything when fleeing their livelihood in

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