Thursday, July 16, 2009

US and Pennsylvania embarrassed by hosts who mistreated exchange students

Danielle Grijalva of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students (CFES) sent me this story.

Exchange students live American nightmare
July 15, 2009
By Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston
CNN Special Investigations Unit

They came from around the world hoping to spend a high school year immersed in the culture and joys of America.

Instead, five young foreign exchange students found themselves caught in a nightmare of neglect, malnourishment and abandonment by those supposed to protect them.

Now those five -- natives of countries stretching from Norway to Tanzania to Colombia -- are back home telling friends of a different America than they expected. And their brief visit reverberates in America as a United States senator demands accountability and reform, a Pennsylvania district attorney seeks criminal charges and the U.S. State Department concedes it failed to protect kids coming to America...

Meanwhile, Tanzanian student Musa Mpulki has since returned home. Before he left, he told CNN he did not want to upset his mother, so he never told her that he had little to eat during his nine-month stay in the home of a 72-year-old man who had signs on his refrigerator that some food was only for family.

Although his housing situation was a nightmare, Mpulki said the students at the school made him appreciate America, and he said he appreciated the State Department grant that brought him to the United States.

"I guess I like to say, 'Thank you very much the government of the United States for to bring me here to get a good experience at the school and a good education.' "

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