Although I am not a refugee, working at the International Rescue Committee has allowed me to interact with and observe the refugee community daily. My work entails dealing with refugees’ paperwork and assisting them with any problems they might have. Working at the IRC provides me with the opportunity to interact with refugees and their situations in depth. This degree of knowledge has given me the chance to reshape my concept of the refugee community in Tallahassee. While before, I had thought of the community as being more united, I now realize that it is much more fragmented. During my time at the IRC, I have learned about the many different refugee populations, the languages they speak, and the relations they have with each other. Although all refugees go through similar situations of abandoning their lives and relocating to somewhere new, national identity and culture still affect the communities that they form. Therefore, the refugee community in Tallahassee is not merely one large group but instead made up of many smaller, cultural groups.
Working at the International Rescue Committee has made me privy to the challenging lives of refugees. While I work within the community and do my best to help, I am not a refugee and will never be a part of the refugee community. Instead, while I work at the IRC, I will remain a helpful outsider and a champion of refugees in Tallahassee.