Posts Tagged ‘refugee resettlement’

Be Sure to Catch Larry and Friends

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Larry and Friends Event Flyer FINALBy Alice Kenny

Nearly two dozen immigrants, refugees, children and staff listened spellbound last week at Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement department in downtown Manhattan as an illustrator and writer, each New York based but bred in another land, shared their just-published story, Larry and Friends, an ode to immigration, diversity, friendship and acceptance.

The reading served as the kick off for a conversation about challenges immigrants face, some as obvious as learning a new language, others as surprising as getting used to the way Americans coddle their pets.

“Events like this help to create community with the clients we serve,” Catholic Charities Director of Refugee Resettlement Kelly Agnew-Barjas said after the event.

The book, filled with illustrations reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s famed Where the Wild Things Are, was illustrated by Ecuadorian-born Carla Torres and written by Belgian-born, Venezuelan-raised Nat Jasper. Its silly yet sensitive story features a drum-beating African zebra, a tight-rope artist Polish pig, a Colombian street musician alligator and fellow ambitious animals relocated to New York City from around the world.

“We work so hard to help clients and we engage in very serious issues every day,” Ms. Agnew-Barajas added. “It’s important to step back and remember that we are part of a larger immigrant experience in New York City.”

It’s NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK – Let’s Celebrate!

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Two Ten Footwear Foundation paint murals to brighten group homes for the mentally ill.

By Alice Kenny

It’s National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014, our opportunity to celebrate our volunteers’ dedication in helping others and encourage others to join the movement.

And while this is Volunteer Week, here at Catholic Charities, where the breadth of the services we offer depends on giving volunteers, every day is Volunteer Day.

We already have celebrations scheduled for our Refugee Resettlement and International Center volunteers on April 22 at 80 Maiden Lane.  And our Alianza division that provides artistic outlets for teens will hold their volunteer celebration on April 24 at La Plaza Beacon.

Join us in celebrating our wonderful volunteers.

Join us in helping change lives.

Getting started as a volunteer is as easy as 1-2-3.

Step One:
Browse our site

Step Two:
Sign up for an orientation.

Step Three:
Roll up your sleeves and join us.

 

 

 

 

Tragedy, Poverty and Oppression Tear Immigrant Families Apart

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Looking for help reuniting with your family? Catholic Charities helps immigrants and refugees reunite with family members in two ways: through the legal immigration process, and through the refugee resettlement process. In both programs, highly skilled staff helps navigate the complicated rules and applications required by the U.S. government for family members to enter the United States.

Click here to find a Catholic Charities agency that can help.

Call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline: 212-419-3737 or 1-800-566-7636 (toll-free in NYS).

Looking for help with other needs?  Call the Catholic Charities Help line at: 888-744-7900.

Immigration Change to Ease Family Separations

Friday, January 4th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

“Obama administration officials unveiled rules on Wednesday that will allow many American citizens — perhaps hundreds of thousands — to avoid long separations from immediate family members who are illegal immigrants as they apply to become legal residents.” Read more from The New York Times.

Catholic Charities helps immigrants and refugees reunite with family members in two ways: through the legal immigration process, and through the refugee resettlement process. In both programs, highly skilled staff helps family members navigate the complicated rules and applications required by the U.S. government for family members to enter the United States.

If you need help in finding the services you need, please call Catholic Charities at the New York State New Americans Hotline,1-800-566-7636.

 

 

The Power of Love Turns Life Around

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

When Patrice Mbekeli first came to Catholic Charities he had just escaped torture in his native Cameroon, was penniless and slept on subway cars. After the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement staff teamed up with the New York Times Neediest Cases campaign to publicize his plight, Patrice was offered work, a home and a ticket to his family’s future.

Last month, Patrice wrote Catholic Charities to let us know that he is on track to receive his PhD. as a pharmacist. “I am the pure product of your love and commitment,” he wrote. “Only the power of love can completely turn around a life as it happened to mine.”

Read more about how, with your help, Catholic Charities teams up with the New York Times Neediest Cases Campaign and helps turn lives around. 

Announcing New Services for the International Community in New York

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

When the New York Times reported that a nonprofit that had served New York’s immigrant and refugee community for 50 years would have to close its doors, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York stepped in to ensure that the critical services provided by the organization could still continue.

This month, Catholic Charities recreated the services that had been provided by the International Center, previously located in Chelsea, to complement existing Catholic Charities services for immigrants and refugees.

The new services, which range from job readiness and skills training, to English language classes, to educational enrichment programs, are currently being led at the Catholic Charities headquarters by four former International Center employees, now part of the Catholic Charities staff: Mira Erickson, Shawn Mullin, Anna Petelka and Elaine Roberts.

One of the most prized services is the “conversation partners” program, where volunteers are matched with students to serve as English language tutors, and as a source of encouragement to continue learning and pursuing their goals.

According to staff, this program “provides an atmosphere of trust and support that … is often not as easy to create in a classroom setting. As in any successful language learning situation, it is a partnership of equals: while the newcomer works on acquiring the language, the volunteer works on developing strategies of engaging in a subtle process of mobilizing, inspiring, monitoring, and guiding.”

Volunteers are a large part of what have made these services to the international community so successful for the past 50 years. Many who received services have gone on to become volunteers, teaching and mentoring future students.

 

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