While in Colombia for the IASFM 15 Conference, ESPMI put on a small photo exhibition which was originally part of the Photovoice exhibit in Chicago, IL.
Heartland Alliance, The Chicago Public Library, and some other groups worked together to fund cameras for those who are living in Chicago and are either asylum seekers, or have been granted refugee status. This was a great collaboration that took a lot of time and care to make sure that the project was meaningful, safe, and allowed the participants speak for themselves.
Today, we feature another story from Heartland Alliance: Mohammad and his family
After years in a Syrian refugee camp, Mohammad’s family was selected for a refugee resettlement program – one run by Heartland Alliance. They thought their troubles were over. They’d raise their children in a safe place and be healthy, not always looking over their shoulder. But once they made it here to Chicago, they realized just how much of a toll their difficult journey had taken on their health.
“I thought we would be alright once we made it to America, but our old life haunted us,” he says. We still struggled terribly. Coming to a place so different is not easy.”
The trauma of his experiences in Iraq left Mohammad with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as crippling anxiety and depression. Where he once worked tirelessly to provide for his family, he was now all but homebound.