Facing History and Ourselves created “Everyone Has a Story,” a short film about Arn Chorn Pond. Today, Arn is a world-renowned human rights activist who harnesses the power of the arts for healing. When he was a child, long before the acclaim, he survived the Cambodian Genocide and fled, as a refugee, to Thailand. While living in a refugee camp, Pond was adopted by American parents who brought him to the U.S. He entered school in rural New Hampshire at a time when there were very few immigrants or refugee students in the whole state, never mind his school. This film focuses on his experiences at school, and the people who welcomed him and supported his success.
As students watch the film, you might ask them to use the see-feel-think-wonder Project Zero thinking routine to capture their responses. Have them note what they see, what they are feeling, what they are thinking, and what they are wondering.
Arn believes that sharing his story helped him to heal. Why do you think it was helpful for him to tell his story? What impact did it have on his life? His classmates? His community? And, the world? There questions are also adapted from a Project Zero thinking routine. It is called the Three Ys.
Arn strongly believes that it isn’t just people like him, survivors and refugees that have a story. All of us do. Re-Imagining Migration has partnered with Carola Suárez-Orozco on her Moving Stories project which is designed to allow students to come together and build bridges through sharing stories. You can download the guide through this link.