My First Refugee Client At International Rescue Committee ( Irc )

1081 Words Dec 15th, 2015 null Page
It was an unforgettable day during my internship when I realized that Public Health was not just my interest, but my calling. Although I had a vague idea of a career in health promotion, meeting Lal, my first refugee client at International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian aid organization, blossomed my idea into a firm desire to become a public health advocate, and improve health equity through addressing the barriers that cause health disparities in vulnerable communities such as refugees, displaced persons and victims of human trafficking. It was Monday, and the Health Team at IRC had walk-in hours for individuals who needed assistance.When I sat down with Lal in my cubicle in the darkest corner of the office, little did I know that I was about to begin one of the first emotionally intense and empowering conversations of my career. Lal was a Bhutanese refugee who had spent almost 20 years in the refugee camps of Nepal. A week ago, he was resettled in the U.S. by IRC. My role as a Public Health Intern was to support and assist refugees to navigate the intricacies of healthcare and other social services as they walked their road to self-sufficiency and assimilation into a new culture. I introduced myself to Lal with my biggest smile and greeting in Nepali: "Namaste."
As nervous as I was, I noticed that Lal was more anxious. I asked, “How are you this morning?” “Exhausted” Lal frantically replied. He had accidentally fallen asleep and missed his bus stop. As an…

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