Sense of Community

Our ongoing, 10-part Community Journalism series airs quarterly

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters come together to produce 10 stories, four times a year;  see past espisodes of our Sense of Community series here.

Jennifer Moore / KSMU

In 1991, civil war broke out in Somalia. It’s a relatively young country, with only 59 years of independence since British rule. At the time, Abdi Tarey was five years old. His father was in the military and things became very dangerous for his family.

“And my mom said, ‘We have to run to Kenya because so many people has been killed.’ And there was chaos and escalation. The government was fighting. The people were saying that the need to overthrow the president. And then, there was too much killing and looting,” said Tarey.

Randy Stewart

In this morning’s Sense of Community installment, you met Veronica Palit from the former Soviet republic of Moldova. Veronica officially became a United States citizen two months ago at a naturalization ceremony held at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. As it happens, the woman we’re profiling this afternoon was the keynote speaker at that ceremony. 

Photo: Jennifer Moore

Veronica Palit says the question she most often gets from friends and people she meets is, “’Where is Moldova?’ That is the biggest question—‘where is that country?’”

I’ll answer that. Moldova is a small country in eastern Europe, one-fourth the size of Missouri, says Veronica, situated between Romania and Ukraine.  It was under Russian—and later Soviet—domination for many decades. Moldova regained its independent status after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

Diego Brawn via Facebook

Diego Brawn is just 22-years-old, and he’s already living the life he dreamed of while he was a student at Bolivar High School:  Touring with national Christian music recording artists.

The road that led Brawn to where he is today started in Mexico City where he was born.  He doesn’t remember much about the time before he and his sister, mom and dad came to the United States.

CoxHealth

Temitayo “Tayo” Bakare is 35-years-old with a family and a job as clinical director of pharmacy at CoxHealth in Springfield.  But her life began thousands of miles away in Africa.  She learned to be on her own at a time when many children in the United States are just beginning to test the waters of independence with their parents close by. 

She grew up in Nigeria and remembers a fun childhood there.

"I'm number two of five, grew up in a pretty large family, had aunties and uncles around," she said, "father died when I was nine-years-old."

Pages