It was 1978. Packed in like sardines in a small fisherman’s boat, my Chinese Vietnamese family escaped Vietnam with 200 other passengers. The US had abandoned the war, and the Communists had taken over Vietnam. My parents were on this boat. We were stripped materially of everything we had ever worked for by the Communist regime. Yet our spirit continued on through dangerous shark and pirate-infested South China Sea waters. The journey toughened our resolve.
After months at sea and living temporarily on beaches off Malaysia where we had to dig our own wells for water, we arrived in the open arms of Houston, Texas. “Thank God for America!” my dad frequently told me. “America is the best place to live! We have freedom here.” My family and I owe a lot to this great, imperfect nation of ours. We came here with nothing. America gave us everything. This is a nation of immigrants. I was not yet born when my parents made this journey. But their experiences live through me, as do their burden and hope for humanity.
History always repeats itself. Today, we must aid the Afghan people and welcome them into our world with open arms. The importance of education, and the desire to make a positive impact on society, was stressed in our immigrant community as the way out of trauma and poverty and towards a bright future. We created Numerade in our mission to democratize STEM education to create a better world. Because of STEM mastery, scientists were able to create vaccines in record time during the COVID pandemic. They are gaining exponential strides in space travel, climate solutions, education, medicine. We believe that the student using Numerade today will cure cancer tomorrow. We believe that every student should have the opportunity to make such impacts in our collective future.
In particular, the story of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team resonated with us. Numerade was built for them. We dedicate Numerade to them. We would like to offer Numerade at no cost to students affected by the crisis in Afghanistan. If you or anyone you know is directly affected by the crisis in Afghanistan, please fill out this form to gain access to our library of millions of STEM videos for free. I hope we can be a part of their incredible journey, and that we can connect to each other through our collective experiences as immigrants, refugees, and global citizens.
Nhon Ma, CEO & Co-Founder of Numerade
Featured Image: 640 people fleeing Kabul in US plane. Photograph: Reuters