By: Lindsey Dunlap
After Volunteering at the Hser Ner Moo Center and going on the Mayterm Thailand trip, I have realized that an individual does not have to go out of the country to understand that we also have problems in our own backyard. I think that a lot of people think that it’s only the third world countries that experience poverty, poor health, and lack of accessibility to health care. Volunteering at a place such as Hser Ner Moo doesn’t just open your eyes to new ideas of how to help, or where to help, but it really makes you wonder why we don’t address these problems at a higher volume. And these problems don’t just exist in the refugee camps here in the United States, but everywhere. This is where I tend to get stuck on where to start or how to even go about helping.
In the United States we tend to focus on the issues of other countries rather than on our own soil, which only makes problems worse. For some reason, “us Americans” feel liberated by going to other countries, spending thousands of dollars just to get there, and “helping” others. We are all guilty of it, even myself. Sometimes I don’t think we realize the impact we can make here. Instead of spending $5,000 to get to one specific place, (which isn’t really helping anybody but ourselves) maybe finding somewhere in your local community that is truly struggling.
However, I do think everyone should experience what it is like in another country or culture at least once in their lives. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a place where there is poverty per say, but somewhere where you can learn from the people and grow as a human being. I know for myself, before even leaving for Thailand, I was planning on returning and spending time at the Hser Ner Moo Center. I believe that it takes just one of us to start the movement, in regards to helping the community. In the end, we are all here to love each other, embrace each other, and help each other.