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Royal West Academy Visit

On Thursday, February 23rd we visited Royal West Academy where Stephanie and Leontine spoke to the all the Secondary II students (grade 8), despite a fire drill just before we were supposed to start. They asked a lot of questions, especially about the Rwandan genocide. Here is what some of the students had to say:

• "...I learnt that we should be proud of culture and should learn and cherish it. I also learned that refugees as well as immigrants have a hard difficult life; they have to struggle to survive unlike others who are born into a good family. Even though they lost so much they never gave up hope, which is such an inspiration to me. "

• "I learned a lot about the Rwanda genocide and how much it affected people’s lives, even if it was before their time. I learned how had it was to cope as a refugee, how sometimes you don’t have a choice. I learned that there is a lot of inequality in the world, and that everyone has a different story to tell, whether happy, sad, or both. The fact that the presenters had been part of the genocide made me realize the extent of the damage and how it affected people’s identities."

• "First, I’d like to say that I loved the presentation. I found it eye-opening and inspiring. I found the personal stories interesting and moving. I have always been interested in stories of refugees and escaping difficult situations, now knowing my father, who came from Haïti, and had already heard many and read them, yet I find that each story is inspiring and hearing stories in person too, makes me even more thankful for what I had. Thank you so much!"

• "Rebecca said that she made a video with her grandmother, making a dish with her. It inspired me to make a video with anyone from my family who is an immigrant..."

• "The videos were touching, because I can relate. My father was once a refugee from Romania. The presentation made me understand how difficult it must be to be an immigrant/refugee. It is very hard to relocate, and have to rebuild your life completely. The entire presentation really touched me."

• "I thought that the presentation was very touching and makes us realize how lucky we are to live somewhere where people are accepting. The presentations showed me how tolerance is not a given, not everyone is as lucky as we are. The stories were interesting because their childhood was so vastly different compared to the one you get in Montreal. I’m thankful to live in a place so safe that people come here to escape their situations."

• "...What I thought was meaningful was that Stephanie and Leontine were able to have a family despite having lost their actual families back where they come from. Another thing is that they were able to overcome the hardships of losing their family."

• "...It was really special that the real people were there and told us their stories and answered questions instead of just a video. Thanks so much for the time and effort in this presentation."

Thank you so much to Mrs. Cukier for her help in organizing the event!