Other articles by the same author
Other articles by this author
2/14/17 12:02pm - Place Matters
/Courtesy of Refugee Education Center
Abdi Osman, a Student Support Coordinator with two students during Refugee Education Center's summer programming.
In the wake of the recent executive order calling for a temporary halt to the resettlement of refugees, the Refugee Education Center has received hundreds of calls and emails from community members interested in how they can support refugees in our community. This flood of support comes at a critical time for our refugee friends and neighbors. Although the future of refugee resettlement is uncertain, there are an estimated 25,000 refugees currently living in our community who need and deserve our support.
For decades, refugees from all over the world have been welcomed into our community. Having been forced from their country due to fear of persecution, it was never their intent to leave home and come to the United States. Nonetheless, they are grateful for the opportunity to rebuild their lives free from fear. Now more than ever, it is important that we demonstrate in word and actions that we value the lives of our refugee neighbors. Whether you can volunteer to tutor a student after school at the Refugee Education Center or make a one-time monetary donation, we need your help to support refugees in our community.
On Monday, February 20th, the Refugee Education Center is hosting an education event at the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids from 6-8 p.m. The event, “Do Good Well,” is designed to equip advocates with the knowledge and skills to make the greatest impact on behalf of the local refugee community. You will learn about the global refugee crisis and the history of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program, including how refugees are screened for entry. Together we will explore strategies for how to best support our refugee friends and neighbors.
Representatives from area organizations serving refugees will be in attendance to allow guests to learn more about who is doing what locally. Guests will be asked to think critically about where their time and talent can best be used and develop an action plan. Regardless of the content of each action plan, our intent is that everyone would leave feeling equipped and challenged to get to know their refugee neighbors and build mutually beneficial relationships with newcomers.
To support refugee children and families to gain the necessary skills for seamless and successful integration into the community through providing comprehensive educational support and youth development services, along with fostering cultural knowledge and understanding. The main objectives of the program are as follows: Empower refugee families to succeed in school and in life. Support refugee children to finish school and become self-sufficient. Provide refugee families a place to socialize to strengthen their families and their communities. Foster a lasting sense of community that will benefit both refugee and non-refugee families alike. Foster leadership development in the refugee community.