Connecting the Dots on Border Life & Culture
There is a lack of understanding and information on issues related to the U.S./Mexican Border and its impact nationally and internationally as well as a lack of cultural awareness of the border population in TX, NM and Chihuahua, MX.
If you were to contact any of the Border Awareness (BAE) participants about their experience, they would tell you “It was a truly life changing experience.” Many high school and college students from across the country don’t know what to expect when they come to the U.S./Mexico Border. Nor do they expect a young 22 year-old to be their guide or an expert on the topic of immigration and border life.
Saif Almuhairbi, a young man initially recruited to complete a month long technology project stayed on as a volunteer for over 3 years. After the completion of the first project, this energetic young man was asked to provide input in revamping the program. Not only did he revamp the program but went on to lead it. Saif managed to show the two sides of the coin in relation to the intricacies involved in immigration and border life. He brings diverse organizations and governmental entities as well as the people of the community to engage the students on the issues, creating relational spaces, and full understanding of the roles of nonprofits and government… The students begin to understand that in order to make change, you must first change policy.
Saif helps shape every experience in such a way that every student is transformed. As CPSC (BAE Participant) stated in her evaluation in GreatNonprofits.org, “Seeing the border and really experiencing the humanity behind the issue changed the way I approached the topic of immigration. So many people hold inappropriate opinions of immigration and the migrants themselves. Before the trip my opinion was shortsighted in many ways. But the Women’s Intercultural Center put together the BAE and changed the way I thought about migration. I really enjoyed talking to all of the nonprofits and government organizations that the Women’s Intercultural Center presented to us. I loved the border patrol tour and just seeing the fence and how migrants really struggle to live in America. Lastly, I really loved just being at the center, they really treated us well and I felt at home the whole time I was there. Getting to see how the organization empowers women in a culture where it is hard for women to find their identity was refreshing and enlightening. They are really changing lives and even though they are really just ‘fixing’ one aspect of the issue of immigration on the border. The educational experience they offer through the BAE taught me that that it is probably the best way to really help the problem. It’s going to take a lot of people doing their part to focus on the humanity of the issue. That was by far the most important lesson I learned at the Women’s Intercultural Center.”
Many of the students have gone back to their homes and initiated steps in transforming their communities. Some have held conferences to open dialogue with their peers and taught what they learned from their experiences. To ensure the program’s continued success, Saif has begun recruiting peers and training them on how to lead a BAE.
More About This Charity
Most Influential College Student or College Organization
Saif Almuhairbi for the Women’s Intercultural Center
To provide a place for women to learn and work together to develop their social, spiritual, economic and political potential.
- This Achievement raised $35,000
- This College Organization raised $20,000 in the past year
- This College Organization 105 people
- Raised awareness of border issues and promoted cross-cultural dialogue