Refugee youth share funny stories about life in America | KUOW News and Information

Refugee youth share funny stories about life in America

Feb 13, 2018

KUOW's RadioActive Youth Media partnered with the Coalition for Refugees from Burma to run a six-week podcasting workshop with refugee youth at Kent-Meridian High School.

Here, RadioActive's Alivia Thrift, one of the workshop mentors, shares highlights from each of the podcasts.


The workshop broke participants into groups to create podcasts on topics they chose, from soccer to stories about friendship. They learned how to use recorders, interview, write scripts, speak for broadcast, and edit audio. RadioActive graduates mentored youth on these podcasts — and three of the mentors also come from refugee families.

Immigration and friendship  

Fatxi and Fatuma are Somali refugees who immigrated as teenagers. Here, they discuss how they felt when they came to the United States, ("I felt safe and [free]. I felt happy because I had an education.")

They also talk to Asha, Fatxi's sister about her experience coming to school in the United States: "[It was] hard because I didn't go to school in my country," she said. "I don't like math. I don't get anything. It's so hard!"

Azeb Tuji provided production assistance on this podcast.

Coalition for Refugees from Burma participants Asha Ahmed, Fatxi Ahmed, and Fatuma Noor with their mentor, RadioActive's Azeb Tuji.
Credit KUOW PHOTO/Lila Kitaeff

Funny stories with friends

What is a memory you have with one of your friends that makes you laugh every time you tell it? Halli, Asiya, and Rafal go on a quest to collect these stories, including one creative way to save money on food as a college student. (Spoiler: it involves a four-hour meal at a buffet!)

Alivia Thrift provided production assistance on this podcast.

Coalition of Refugees from Burma participants Asiya Jeylani, Halli Cruz, and Rafal Sultan with their mentor, RadioActive's Alivia Thrift.
Credit KUOW PHOTO/Lila Kitaeff

Rivalries

Sabrina and Aisha are friends who love basketball but can't agree on which team is the best. They try to persuade each other to switch their basketball allegiance, only to realize their friend Hibo hates basketball entirely: "I don't like basketball because I think soccer is way better. I love soccer because when I’m wearing a long dress and they try to kick the ball into the goal it doesn’t go. My dress brings the ball out of the goal, and they don’t make the goal."

Zuheera Ali provided production assistance on this podcast.

RadioActive's Zuheera Ali (left) with Coalition for Refugees from Burma participants Aisha Abdirizak, Hibo Yussuf, and Sabrina Abdullahi after recording their script in KUOW's studios.
Credit KUOW PHOTO/Lila Kitaeff

Football 

Kamar loves playing soccer but can't join her school's team because of the uniform. Miriam, a 17-year-old student at Kent-Meridian High School, has the same problem but came up with a solution.

"We're trying to make a girls soccer team with my dad as the coach," she said. "We're making this team to let girls have the opportunity to play soccer and have fun at the same time."

Zeytun Ahmed provided production assistance on this podcast.

RadioActive's Zeytun Ahmed (left) with Coalition for Refugees from Burma participants Shayeq Wahidi (center) and Kamar Yussuf Megag (right).
Credit KUOW PHOTO/Lila Kitaeff

Our workshop participants were Fatxi Ahmed, Asha Ahmed, Fatuma Noor, Asiya Jeylani, Halli Cruz, Rafal Sultan, Aisha Abdirizak, Hibo Yussuf, Sabrina Abdullahi, Shayeq Wahidi, and Kamar Yussuf Megag. Production assistance from our mentors Alivia Thrift, Azeb Tuji, Zeytun Ahmed, and Zuheera Ali. Editing by Mary Heisey. Music: "Caravan," "Jack," and "Movin on Up" by Podington Bear. The closing music was produced by participants in Echo Glen Children's Center's Beatzlab program. The RadioActive theme song is by Patrick Liu and Abay Estifanos.

Special thanks to the Coalition for Refugees from Burma (especially Siobhan Whalen and Brandie Nordstrum) as well as Kent-Meridian High School, Kent Phoenix Academy, Tri Nguyen and Lila Kitaeff.

Everyone after recording scripts in KUOW's studios.
Credit KUOW PHOTO/Mary Heisey