“If many refugees have been through worse hardships than me and came out stronger, so can I!”

Maxi shares her experience of overcoming hardships as a refugee and coming out stronger.

The trip was a big adventure as I didn’t know what to expect. I took each day, one step at a time. I went to Maine, USA to be a counselor and to help look after children. Originally, I wondered if I would face discrimination but it was the opposite, they were really nice and supportive. I didn’t always know what to do but I was still supported and treated as an equal. I can now say that I have made new friends in another continent. It showed me that anyone can be accepted anywhere in the world.

During my time in Maine I lived in a cabin and was always around the kids. Looking after the kids gave me a sense of duty as I had to organise them and tell them what to do. I loved them so much. Having this responsibility definitely improved my leadership skills. The approach to children there is very different to Kenya, the children were often spoken to as equal terms. I miss them so much! Counselor

I got the chance to hike up a mountain which was incredible. I found it quite tough at the beginning but felt good when I made it to the top. It was also just nice to be able to observe a different culture to the one that I’ve known for most of my life. I was really surprised by how everyone there was so keen to the environment. Unlike Kenya, you could not just throw rubbish in the river just anywhere and everywhere on the floor, you have to put your rubbish carefully in different designated bins. Even just being in a different household was fascinating. This taught me some tips on keeping my surrounding cleaner.

When I got back, I shared my experiences with my friends and fellow students at school. I am truly thankful to everyone I met there for accepting me just the way I was, especially Kennedy who really helped me a lot during my stay. I am very grateful to the Kieve-Wavus for looking after me and giving me such a great experience and mentorship skills. I really miss them already but I hope to see them next summer.

I’d also like to thank all the staff and supporters of Xavier Project – it has changed my life through their support that I am able to go to school and able to experience such wonderful adventures. I sincerely thank them for making it possible for me to visit Kieve-Wavus. If so many other refugees have been through worse hardships than me and came out stronger, then so can I!

Related updates and blogs