Coming to a new country is difficult enough, but the journey is just the beginning. Once someone moves to a new country, they have to begin rebuilding a new life for both their family and themselves. And when I say rebuild, I mean rebuild. Credentials and accomplishments most likely will not translate in a new environment leading to doctors becoming cleaners in their new country. But as parents struggle with providing for their new family, their children also deal with their own hurdles .
Older immigrants, like middle-aged parents, tend to hold on to their heritage and history. The understanding of their background allows for them to retain their identity in a new environment and to pass on their historical legacy. Unfortunately, their children may not have that ability in their new homes, especially if they're born in another country.
First-generation kids truly embody the chunky stew that is America. For example, this means they're just as American as they are Somali in Maine. As a result, first-generation kids have to adhere to the expectations of not only their parents' native world, but they also have to deal with the social norms and rules of their family's new home. The constant balance of cultural norms and expectations often leads to the compartmentalization of their identities. Identity compartmentalization is separation of different personalities depending on the cultural stakes. Somali-American kids have the saying 'Somali at home but American everywhere else" for good reason.
Proper post-resettlement work gives many people a chance at new life. The IRCM is glad to be there for these new community members. Look out for stories in the near future about other post-resettlement stories around Maine and the U.S.