Monthly Archives: January 2013

Denis: Adopt-A-Family

Our Adopt-A-Family program turned out to be a great success this year. Seeing the smiles on families’ faces made all of the meticulous work put in months ago worth it. One story that I will always remember is going to meet with donors to give gifts to a newly arrived Iraqi family. The joy on the kids’ faces as they opened their new Lego sets was indescribable and the families’ gratitude was immense. I saw these two families, who come from different sides of the world become friends instantly and talk for over an hour. The Iraqi family was so grateful for the presents they received, they invited the donor’s family (which included a former IRC intern) for Iraqi food in the future. This experience alone made me so happy to be a part of this program.

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Brie: EACS Programs in Pictures

African Eagles -The African Eagles Project is a youth leadership program for local high school students.

African Eagles –
The African Eagles Project is a youth leadership program for local high school students.

 

After School Program -The After School Program provides homework help and tutoring for East African elementary and middle school students.

After School Program –
The After School Program provides homework help and tutoring for East African elementary and middle school students.

Citizenship & Naturalization - EACS provides citizenship classes and ESL tutoring to assist East African immigrants and refugees applying to become US citizens.

Citizenship & Naturalization –
EACS provides citizenship classes and ESL tutoring to assist East African immigrants and refugees applying to become US citizens.

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Doree: “Education Without Borders”

A couple of weeks ago I was able to convene with educators from throughout the U.S., China, Australia and Singapore during the webinar “Education Without Borders.” Over the past couple of years, classrooms have been utilizing visual conferencing tools to connect with their peers thousands of miles away. In the 21st century and the new “web-connected” generation, we have the rare opportunity to facilitate collaboration and communication between students of various national backgrounds like never before. Through this discussion, I was inspired to learn more about the piloted “Global Classroom” programs here in Seattle and hope to collaborate with local schools to kick start such a great learning opportunity for our students!

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Wuhye: Making Connections

I had a really good experience visiting with Asian Counseling and Referral Service’s Indo-China Chinese Elderly Association (ICCEA) congregate meal program.  I had arranged a time to meet the president of ICCEA because he wanted to nominate a volunteer for our Volunteer of the Month program. It was a very positive interaction because not only was he very helpful with getting the Volunteer of the Month nomination and a photo of the volunteer, he also treated me and my fellow Asian Counseling and Referral Service VISTA to lunch.  It was a great opportunity to get to know a community contact on a more personal level.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Coalition for Refugees from Burma’s FAFSA Filing Workshop

The Refugee Support Network celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service with a trip to the Refugee Transition Center in Kent to assist Burmese high school students as they worked to complete their FAFSA applications and begin the process of applying to college.

Each VISTA partnered with a Burmese high school senior and worked through the FAFSA application, taking some time to discuss the student’s plans for college and the future. One student even expressed an interest in going into politics and running for Congress!

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Traci: Adopt-A-Family

Adopt-A-Family was a large part of my work this quarter. It had a lot of different parts to coordinate and could at times feel very stressful. However, every time I felt over my head with coordinating deliveries with donors or making sure every family was matched, a donor would come in a drop off presents to our office for the families and thank us for such a meaningful opportunity to share with their kids around the holiday season.

 I also had the opportunity to join donors to drop of the presents directly to the families. One family in particular was an Iraqi family of seven. The donors brought a large car load of gifts to the family, who invited us in for tea. We spent over an hour at the family’s house watching a video of a family wedding celebration in Iraq and hearing stories about their time in Iraq. The family insisted the donor family return soon so that they could make them some Iraqi food. It was great to experience mutual generosity and the sharing of life and stories between two very different families.

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Lauren: Celebrating Art & Culture

I organized a Cultural Celebration with the Seattle Theatre Group (STG) in early fall. We had over 60 attendees from the community, including participants from the Refugee Women’s Alliance’s after school program, community leaders and organizers, Somali Community Services Coalition’s own youth program participants, and the general community. STG brought a number of African dancers to engage with the community in a dialogue about art and cultural identity. The purpose of the celebration was to start introducing appropriate forms of art (that are respectful of Islam) to the community to start breaking down the stereotypes of art and teach what it can do for the individual and the community.

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