Worcester State College student Jenkins Macedo

Sociology Major Shares His Experience as a Liberian Refugee

November 24, 2008
By: WSU News

WSC student Jenkins Macedo gave a talk, “From a Refugee Camp Experience to a New Life in the U.S.,” on November 20, as part of the Diversity Lecture Series.

On December 24, 1989, Macedo and his brothers and sisters were separated from their mother at the start of the Liberian Civil War. Jenkins and his siblings traveled together seeking refuge. They spent the next 14 years of their life as Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Ghana. In 2006 he was finally able to reunite with his mother in the United States.

Jenkins has always had a deep commitment to the West African youth. While he was at the refugee camp he took on many positions and projects in youth organizations. Before leaving Ghana, he served as program coordinator for RESPECT Ghana, an associate of RESPECT International, creating awareness and education of refugee issues among local and international non-refugee students. He used his experiences as a refugee to overcome the pains and sufferings that he and his siblings endured during the civil war that tore the West African nation of Liberia into civil unrest. Jenkins believes in creating social, economic and political change through passive non-violent approach to aggression, force and suppression.

At 21, Jenkins holds an associate degree in agriculture education from the AHEAD/West Africa College for Sustainable Development in Accra, Ghana, and a higher national diploma in Biblical studies from the International Bible Institute located in Cape Town, South Africa. He currently resides in Worcester and is pursuing a degree at Worcester State, majoring in sociology and minor in international development studies.

Looking to help? Jenkins has initiated a Book Drive for Africa (BDA), to send books to needy students in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana in West Africa. He has already collected more than 1,000 books on a range of topics and is looking to send many more to these regions. If you have new or slightly used books, there is a drop off point in the Student Center near the Information Desk.

The Diversity Lecture Series is sponsored by the Student Center/Student Activities Office, Disability Services Office, Women’s Studies, Counseling Office and the Student Events Committee.

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