When Fahmo Abdi and her family immigrated to the United States from Kenya, they lost contact with all of their loved ones. While living in a refugee camp, Abdi’s mother decided to move her family to the United States in search of a better life. “She knew she had to work hard to provide for us and [for] her family back home,” Abdi recalls.
By Jacqueline Nkhonjera
But once they arrived, it was difficult to stay in touch. After eight years of attempting to contact relatives in Kenya, Abdi’s mother learned that her brother — Abdi’s uncle — was still alive.
“But he was really struggling and he was like a stranger,” she says. “Their relationship will never be the same.”
Nevertheless, she still considers her family fortunate: “Not every immigrant gets to find their loved ones alive.”
Abdi is now a sophomore at Auburn Riverside High School, east of Tacoma in Washington State, and she tells her story in an entry for NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge.
It’s one of many we received, out of nearly 6,000 total, that touched on the lives and experiences of immigrants: stories of students struggling with adapting to life in the U.S., or their journeys to get here, or, in some cases, reaching back a generation or two to learn about where they came from.
Here are some of the standout student podcasts about immigration.