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The title Outcasts United is used symbolically to indicate the union of a town, a team and a coach in a spontaneous social experiment. It is a story about refugees from Sudan, Congo, and Burundi among other countries who were resettled by UNHCR in a small town named Clarkson. Most arrived in The U.S with nothing except their clothes on their backs and owing money to government agency for their aircrafts tickets to America. When In America the government assists them for three months only and left to survive on their own in a strange country. During their survival in a strange land they face challenges such as having to face pressure from street gangs who take advantage of them (Warren, 2009). They also lack basic needs and some suffer from health and psychological conditions. They cannot afford good housing conditions and good jobs since they are discriminated by white people. Some of the children also suffer psychological problems due to separation from their parents.
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The refugees are treated as outsiders even at school making them feel unwanted and lack a sense of belonging. These boys from different countries share a passion for soccer which they used to play in their refugee camps back in their country. Despite their different cultures, insecurity and fear for their new surroundings they unite and form a soccer team and manage to compete with the best teams in the U.S. Resentment builds up among residents when refugees arrived in Clarkston since they had never been consulted about the refugee resettlement plan. The residents were given few resources to cater for the problems they faced as a result of the resettlement process. By 2003people started to demonstrate against the resettlement of refugees in their land and advocated for them to be relocated (Warren, 2009). Luma Mufleh from Jordan met with a group of boys playing soccer in a parking lot and decided to join them. With time she got to learn more about the boys’ background and decided to come up with a better training program for them (Warren, 2009). Luma faced challenges when trying to come up with a soccer program for her new team named Fugee. She had to battle so as to get a place for the boys to playground since soccer in Clarkson symbolized uninvited change. It was also difficult for her to bring together boys from different races and religious backgrounds to cooperate as a team. The fact that she was also an outsider and the only woman coach was a big challenge for her to achieve her targeted goal. Her goal would bring great change in the lives of many people in Clarkson.
Lumah only started as a coach but ended up being like a mother to this group of refugees. When the Fugees did have enough food she had to sacrifice so as to provide them with something to eat. Clarkston schools are failing refugees since their special needs are neglected by teachers and also they are discriminated since they are refugees. This affected their performance in schools. The government resettled refugees in Clarkson and failed to provide its people with enough resources to sustain them. Schools in this small town are failing since the teachers are not well equipped to educate the youth. There are no enough teachers in schools to educate the children and this drives Lumah to build a school for the refugees. Children in Lumah’s soccer team had to ask her for assistance in their homework. This is the time Lumah realized that the refugees were facing non-school factors which challenged their school life. She started a school for refugees by the name Fugees Academy. In this new school the refugees would get peace of mind and at least feel at home since there is no discrimination. Lumah teaches them how to work hard and passionately in everything they do. She also teaches them how to be respectful to others and how to avoid trouble with other people.
The white people decided to transfer their kids to other schools in other cities since they considered education in Clarkston to be second class and bad (Warren, 2009). Instead of looking for a solution as a community they are escaping from them this makes it so hard to solve their problems. Other factors that make people so hard to solve the problems they face are; Racism instead of living and developing as a community people in Clarkston focus on discriminating the refugees. Dark skinned people are harassed by the police for example; police stopped Chime who was driving his car claiming that he was over speeding yet he wasn’t. Misuse of power to mistreat the less fortunate has made it difficult for people to unite and solve the problems they are facing since it has caused hate between the refugees and non-refugees. It is clear people can’t cooperate when they hate each other.
In this small town there are those people who support receiving of refugees and there those who do not. Some of the residents fear interacting with the refugees they even go ahead for security guards to protect them. Some of the non-refugees are afraid of change and fear to interact with new people. Due to these fears it becomes difficult for people to cooperate and solve the problems they are facing. Also cultural and language differences is another factor that makes it so hard for people to solve the problems they are facing. Lack of a common language among the people made it difficult for people to communicate effectively and come to a consensus. Some natives are stereotypes and perceive dark skinned people as poor; they can neither afford to drive nice cars nor have the ability to help solve the problems the town is facing. They also think that they only qualify for low skill jobs since they are not qualified. Some non-refugee people are also driven by self interest; they think that refugees have come to take the available jobs and other valuable resources. Powerful people in the government are driven by hunger for money they don’t want to spend government money to cater for the problems people are facing. The resettlement agencies fled away and failed to assist Clarkston people to solve their problems. When asked for assistance they claimed that they were financially constrained this shows a lot of self interest. To some extend the government and resettlement agencies are to blame for all these problems since they didn’t talk to the residents and agree on the resettlement process. They also failed to prepare for the resettlement process by ensuring adequate resources for the people.
In conclusion everyone is very important no matter their color, race, and religion, physical and financial state. We shouldn’t judge people by their physical appearance since we are all equal. We should cooperate and shun away self interests so as to achieve the common good of man. Nothing is impossible if we believe. This is proven when Lumah manages to unite people who have little in common. Change is what develops us so we should not be afraid of it. It is what transformed the Clarkston town. We should always be ready to help others no matter the challenges we face. I think am so inspired by Lumah Mufleh. I think it is difficult to implement ESOL education because of diversity and it is difficult for a new person to catch up. For youths it can be difficult since someone has grown knowing a different language and in order for them to be fluent in English they need to put extra effort.