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College of Education

A Difficult Journey Home from School

Dorcas, a high school newcomer student who is featured in the film, shares some of the details of traumatic walks home from school while living a life of displacement in South Africa (additional video not in the documentary film):


My name is Dorcas. I am a senior, and I'm 19 years old. I was born in Congo but I grew up in South Africa. I lived in Cape Town in the settlement called Joe Slovo and my school was all the way midland. My parents couldn't afford like paying for two children just to go to school so they were only pay for us like a ride to go to school but when we come home we have to walk for some.

When I was in school in South Africa most of the time children who waited for me after like after school cause my school was like one hour away from home because my father wanted the better education for us. Other South Africans would wait for me after the school so that they can come and hit me around. Sometimes I went home like crying because they called me like bad names. Sometimes they would just hit me up and then I would go like to the hospital for two days or so and most of the time I came home like I told my mom that I wanted to go back to Congo or something.

Journey to Refuge ebook cover

Download the eBook at New Prairie Press

Published April 2019

Recommended Citation: Harlow, Trina D., "Journey to Refuge: Understanding Refugees, Exploring Trauma, and Best Practices for Newcomers and Schools" (2019). NPP eBooks. 26. https://newprairiepress.org/ebooks/26

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

See the full Refuge in the Heartland documentary

For more information about the eBook or film, please contact Dr. Trina Harlow, Book Editor and Film Co-Director, at drtrinaharlow@gmail.com.