Thousand Words: April 24

Morgantown freshman Casey Porter helps Jane, a junior at Bowling Green High School, fill out applications to try to get her first job. Jane was born in the Congo but spent most of her life in Tanzania and has lived in the United States for two years.


Students from WKU have been visiting Furahah, a refugee from the Congo, every week this semester. Bowling Green junior Haley Edwards, Morgantown freshman Casey Porter and Yosemite junior Sarah Durham have been making the visits as part of a Cultural Diversity in the U.S. class through the Folk Studies department.

Furahah and her four children came to Bowling Green two years ago after fleeing the Congo and spending several years in Tanzania. While her children speak English very well, Furahah still struggles and is unable to get her driver’s license. She is also unable to work because of a leg injury.

Edwards, Porter and Durham spend at least two hours a week not only doing things for Furahah but also trying to make her life better in a sustainable way. While they do things like hang up curtains and fix the computer, they also help Furahah with English and driving as well as helping her oldest daughter, Jane, fill out job applications.

“I’ve learned to be patient with myself, not just with Furahah,” Edwards said.

The group also plans to purchase basic medical supplies for the family with a $100 Solution Grant and teach them how to use the supplies. Their hope is that Furahah and her children will pass this knowledge on to other immigrants, and the project will affect the larger community.