I was overwhelmed by the wonderful response for my production, “Displaced”. It was truly gratifying to see how the Austin community came together to support this cause. We were able to raise about $6000, which will all go towards supporting refugee girls in our city! According to a GirlForward representative, this was one of their most successful Austin fundraisers!
After the show, I was met by so many people who told me that they had never previously thought about the impact of the refugee crisis, and how it affected lives each day. Rather, it had always been something they saw in news headlines. To them, “Displaced” brought a personal perspective to what was going on in the world, and gave meaning to these heartbreaking stories of child refugees. Furthermore, I was approached by many people who wanted to take action. I had the pleasure of introducing an artist to GirlForward, who was interested in using her skills to help the girls express themselves through collage. She hopes to teach a workshop in the GirlForward summer camp. I also had the honor of connecting a UT professor to the organization, who wanted to use her position to help refugee girls who are applying to college. She has already set up a time to meet up with the girls at ExploreUT, and is hoping to find a time to have some girls shadow her classes. I am so happy about how things are working out! In a time like this, when hate seems to be screaming louder than ever, I feel honored to be able to make a difference, even if it is really little. I am starting with a volunteer position as a youth ESL tutor with Interfaith Action of Central Texas, where I will be able to spend my Saturday mornings tutoring refugee children. I hope to write more about that in the coming weeks!