Conversations with educators, parents, and students about the past year of missed school reminded me of my own education, interrupted by war in my home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in a refugee camp in Uganda. Seeing students graduating on Zoom last summer, unable to hug their friends and teachers, take photos, or have their families cheering their hard work was disappointing.
When a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, it brought me back to my youth in Africa. As a child I was kidnapped by rebels, only to escape months later. Wherever I found a seemingly safe haven, rebels would follow, even attacking my refugee camp in Uganda. Some refugees in the camp wondered why they had fled their home countries only to run from bullets they thought they had escaped.