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Forging Unlikely Friendships

Arn Chorn-Pond, a refugee from Cambodia, made friends with inner-city American kids.
Arn Chorn-Pond
Forging Unlikely Friendships - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

You've seen the Oprah Winfrey shows about people who manage to forge friendships despite huge cultural, racial and geographical differences. Keep reading to find out a little more about these remarkable people.

So, you and your best friend have been through a lot, but have you ever thought of those peeps who manage to bond with one another despite some pretty unimaginable differences? There are some pretty amazing friendships out there. Take a look at some of the friendships that rival the odd partnership of Legolas and Gimli in Lord of the Rings.

1 On The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah profiled an unlikely friendship between a teenager and a senior citizen. Pat was 17 when he began volunteering at a local hospice with some friends. While lending his time, he met a woman who was 78 years older than he was but who shared his love of music. Soon Pat and his 95 year-old friend, Ms. Boecker, were spending many afternoons together, Pat playing on his guitar and Ms. Boecker accompanying him on her piano. Pat labeled Ms. Boecker's piano keys with tape to make it easier for her to find the right notes. Despite their vast age difference, Pat and Ms. Boecker were able to share their stories and talents with one another - something that we all need to be able to do, no matter our age.

1 They lived on opposite sides of the world but that didn't stop Adelina Rampuru and Beverly Powell from becoming the best of friends. Adelina is a black woman who lives in South Africa. Her husband was brutally murdered by his white boss, leaving her and her two sons to fend for themselves. Beverly, a white, American house cleaner from New Mexico heard of the murder and decided to write Adelina to let her know that there were kind, loving people in the world who were appalled by her husband's murder. When Adelina Rampuru lost her job, Beverly Powell started to send her $100 US a month to help Adelina and her sons survive. In spite of cultural differences, race and the thousands of miles between these two women, they have forged a friendship that neither will ever forget.

1 This story of a young Cambodian boy was never featured on TV or written about in your entertainment magazines but Arn Chorn-Pond is definitely someone who knows about unlikely friendships. Arn Chorn-Pond was separated from his family as a child and sent to live in a prison camp in his country of Cambodia. He was forced to watch the daily executions of his fellow campers and the only thing that saved Arn's life was his passion for music, as he became a musical performer for the prison guards.

When he was 15, Arn Chorn-Pond eventually made his way to the United States as a refugee and has now made some unlikely friends with Latino gang members in Lowell, Massachusetts. Today Arn works with teens, helping them focus on music as an emotional outlet, instead of hurting one another. Arn is working on getting recording equipment for the teens in Lowell, Massachusetts so they can start to record their own hip-hop CD. After witnessing so much violence, Arn now works in both the United States and his home of Cambodia teaching kids there are better ways to live, ones that don't involve violence.

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