Becoming accessible has been a huge goal of ours for the past year and half. We wanted to be able to make our class easily available to our students so they don’t have to miss because of a transport issue. This fall we achieved this goal! After much work we are now on campus with our Refugee Life Coaching class every week. This is a huge change to our program and provides the ability for our students to participate in multiple after school programs on campus including our own.
By becoming more accessible we are anticipating more students reached and more time for relationships to develop. Our students are now able to come to the class more frequently and we have seen old students return. We have even had a few of our student ask if they can help us in more of a leadership capacity! We are continuing to see our students develop and become more engaged overall.
Tis the season! This current Holiday season has lent a HUGE hand in helping us introduce our students to the larger community of Sacramento in a very special way. This year we brought several of our refugee students to our church’s annual Halloween event. The kids dressed up and spent hours running around playing games and mingling with other youth. Our silly American traditions of getting candy and dressing up has been instrumental in giving our youth the chance to make new friends and learn about different American traditions first hand. Learning the culture in a new place helps in adjusting and settling and this Halloween was a fun way to do this.
This past November we added a NEW team member to our team! Emily Cortese has become a part of our team and is already putting her extremely valuable skills and loving heart to work. Emily comes to us with several years of work experience in helping refugees through the resettlement process at World Relief. She is helping us to build stronger relationships and increase our impact amongst the refugee community of Sacramento.
This Christmas she is helping us to manage our Christmas tree give away. She has helped us in partnering with local volunteers to bring Christmas joy and cheer into the homes of recently resettled refugee families. For the next two-weeks we are delivering Christmas trees alongside volunteers to 15 families but most importantly our volunteers are spending time with them as they settle into their new lives in America. For some of these families this will be their first opportunity to build relationships with Americans. We are excited and to have Emily alongside us in our endeavors to meet the needs of refugee youth.