December 2018 Update
Newton-Brookline Asylum Resettlement Committee (www.nb-arc.com) began resettling asylum seekers in March 2017 as the Newton-Brookline cluster of Refugee Immigration Ministry (www.r-i-m.net), an interfaith organization whose goals are to provide support to asylum seekers and to build bridges among communities of different faiths.
As we have reported in the past, asylum is a long and complicated path, and asylum seekers are the most fragile of our immigrant population, as many have suffered traumatic experiences in their home country and cannot return for fear of severe consequences. That is one of the reasons we have chosen to help asylum seekers.
To date, we have worked with or helped several households from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Ecuador, Libya, Iraq and Uganda. We most recently welcomed a family from Kenya. We provide to our clients any or all of:
• Financial support to allow the asylum seeker to buy food and other necessities
• Housing through host homes or separate apartment rental
• ESL training from our own volunteers or our partner organizations
• Job search guidance and job training through Jewish Vocational Services
• Social work and cultural assimilation
• Providing supplemental legal support to clients’ asylum cases
• Household needs such as clothing and furniture
Our volunteers have stepped up repeatedly to provide their time, donation of goods and services and financial support. We are organized and managed by a steering committee that meets at least monthly, sometimes more frequently, to manage the needs of NBARC as well as the needs of our clients. The steering committee now does a substantial amount of vetting of clients, we coordinate services and client needs and try to anticipate other needs of the committee and our clients. Like the asylum process itself, our work is not a clear path.
We recently took on M and her daughter, who came to the US from Kenya in early in 2018. She has joined I.M. in our Brookline apartment and will be able to apply for her working papers in a few months. Her English is excellent and she will begin job training soon at JVS (Jewish Vocational Service) as did I.M. from Cameroon. Our commitment is to provide housing, modest financial support and general humanitarian and cultural support until she finds full time employment. I.M. now has work authorization, has a part time job and is looking for permanent employment. M is an excellent example of an asylum seeker. Her family’s house was burned down after her political party fell out of favor with the principal party in Kenya, and she fled. If we can help M and others like her, we will have made the world an ever-so-slightly better place.
Since 2017, we have raised over $60,000, and if we are to continue to support our two existing clients, I.M. and M, and help future asylum seekers clients, we need to raise additional funds over the next six to twelve months.
If you would like to give, there are several ways to make a tax deductible contribution described in our home page, here.
Thank you for your interest!