Imagine being a child, uprooting your entire life, and moving to another country with your family. The language and the culture are different, and you have left everything you have ever known behind. This probably feels scary and lonely. The good news is that you cross paths with a kind stranger who helps you adjust to your new home. In this story, that kind stranger is Acts Proposal Coordinator Sara Ferrari, who recognized that her Afghan students could use some extra support during a transitional time.
A Fond Farewell
Sara knew that her time with her students was sadly limited. “This year, at my day job as a primary school teacher, I’ve been working closely with three Afghan refugees who arrived to Italy with their families only a handful of months ago. Due to my contract and their refugee status, it’s likely that I will not be teaching them again next year,” she explained. As the summer break from school approached, Sara wanted to “leave something with them as a goodbye that was comforting, fun, and could support their learning Italian, which is majorly helping them socialize with other kids. I wanted to help smooth this next transition for them and hopefully give them one more nice memory around the end of this school year.”
Thanks to our lovely donors, Sara was able to request enough funds from Random Acts to provide a gift bag for each child. After careful consideration, she purchased books, plush toys, a puzzle, a hot water bottle, and USB drives, onto which she saved free kids movies. Each gift bag was customized for each child. “I kept an eye out for animal stories, and I looked for a cat and a bunny plushie for the two younger kids because they’re their favorite animals. I also looked online for a hot water bottle with a plush cover that could help the older kid with muscle tension,” Sara said. For an extra special touch, she also “handcrafted a card for each kid. I used their favorite colors and I wrote each a message based on things we’d discussed at school and feelings they’ve shared with me at different points. I wanted the messages to be encouraging and to highlight things about them I took away from my time with them that I think are really precious.”
The last day of school was full of emotion, both for the kids and Sara. She explained that “it all kind of blurred together with the hugging and the goodbyes for them,” and that “all three kids seemed happy to accept the gift bags.” As much as Sara made an impact on these children’s lives, knowing them had a huge impact on hers as well. “They’ve shared all sorts of stuff with me, from chilling things about their experiences, to timid little first steps, to newfound confidence and joys. So this was an extremely personal and emotional act for me, and I feel like it helped me say goodbye and send them onto new things as well,” Sara shared.
Kindness for Refugees
If you were moved by Sara’s act of kindness, allow that to motivate you to do a kind act of your own! Find a local group or nonprofit offering assistance to refugees in your community. Ask what they need most urgently. It could range from monetary donations and household items to translation skills and meal delivery. You can also apply to get funding from Random Acts! Our Regional Representatives are available to guide you through the process.