This week (Sept. 15 - 22) residents of the Cedar Valley pledged to be welcoming to be newcomers. It was part of Welcoming America week, and individuals were invited to sign and post a pledge to be compassionate and to treat people respectfully. The pledge, written in English and in Burmese, was signed both by newcomers and long-time residents of the area.
Another part of the week was participation in the Sacred Heart Fall Festival on Sunday. The Karenni band played at the Festival, ending the event with wonderful songs. Although our faiths and languages differ, it’s fun to discover religious music crosses the boundaries and tunes are familiar to us all. In addition to the musical performance, USCRI and Burma-Iowa Friends had a table set up and shared information.
If you haven’t signed the pledge yet, and put it in a window of your home, at your workplace, or in your car, you still can. Go to: www.cvwelcomepledge.com
Thanks to the enthusiastic people who made this happen!
You have arrived in this country within the last two years, as determined by your date of arrival.
Individuals with the following immigration statuses are eligible for refugee social services: (1) refugees; (2) asylees; (3) Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants; (4) Cuban and Haitian entrants; (5) certain Amerasians from Vietnam; and (6) victims of a severe form of trafficking who receive certification or eligibility letters from ORR, and certain other specified family members of trafficking victims.
This week we met with the Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration, part of the University of Northern Iowa. The Center has great resources and handbooks for refugee and immigrant employment. Please follow the link to learn more about their work in Iowa.
The video features interviews with refugees from Burma, talking about their challenges and accomplishments dealing with learning English, employment, housing and community, rights and responsibilities, and the long process of resettlement.