The Boise State University School of Social Work and Service-Learning Program partnered with the Idaho Office for Refugees to host “A Night with Refugee Storytellers” at Boise State. The event took place on Thursday, October 12 in the Simplot Ballroom of the Student Union Building.
A Night with Refugee Storytellers allowed for social work students and other members of the community to learn more about the diversity seen in Boise. It creates a chance for refugees within the Boise community to share their stories and personal experiences with the audience to generate interpersonal connections. Social work students are also able to further understand how their work and major applies to the lives of refugees. The event featured two students from Boise State University: Patrick Wangoi, social sciences major and Dalia Alhajjar, civil engineering major.
“Refugees, when they arrive here, go through social work and counseling and they don’t have any experience with this kind of service,” said Alhajjar. “They’re trying to understand this service and how it can help them. That’s why I am here: to share. Maybe I will help students in the future.”
Lori Watsen, clinical assistant for the School of Social Work, helped coordinate this event to allow people to gain the knowledge and understanding of refugee experiences. “We really (focused) on the power of personal story and how important it is to listen, and also about the risk of hearing one story and assuming it applies to a group of people,” said Watsen.
Read more about a Night with Refugee Storytellers in the Arbiter.