Redefining Immigrant Identity
The act of immigration can be a lonely experience. Immigrants leave behind cultural norms, support systems and loving family and friends to make a new home in new shores. Immigration can be rife with many emotions, like loss, isolation, vulnerability, insecurity, guilt and helplessness. And while challenging, immigration can also be especially empowering, as immigrants build a new life from scratch. Immigrant parents and children are known to feel especially vulnerable as they do not share a common history, cultural heritage or (sometimes even) language.
KidzBelong is on a mission to provide a supportive and nurturing community for immigrant parents and their children to find the resources to build an immigrant identity that is proud, confident, resilient and unique.
For elementary and middle school kids, KidzBelong creates and supports pictures books that encourage discussions around immigrant identity and challenges that kids face as they grow up in a different culture than their parents’.
These books help grown-ups share stories with little ones about growing up. Little ones ask lots of smart questions. Our books help answer them. Why does my food look different from what my friends bring? Why is my skin color different? Why is the God I pray to look different? Our mission is to help little ones understand that these differences are what makes them unique.
For high school kids, KidzBelong focuses on mental health and provides the power of a supportive community where challenges around growing up in an immigrant household are discussed, and children (as well as parents and teachers) are supported through educational and community resources so that they can build a confident and resilient identity.
KidzBelong books also provides outreach and support for new immigrant mothers in the US, by providing them with a community of like-minded immigrant sisters who can make them feel at home, and if need be, help with emotional, mental and professional support.