When I first returned to Sacramento pregnant, jet lagged and uncertain of the future, I did not realize that I was about to start something. All I wanted was a comfy chair and painless delivery (HA!).
As I rested in a comfy chair, both Adam and I began to seek out the next step knowing that rest would soon come to an end and life with a newborn was about to change us forever.
Soon the puzzle pieces began to form a landscape of reaching refugees in Sacramento. Reaching them with genuine love, compassion, life skills, and most importantly divine friendship.
Adam and I have worked hard to put the pieces together, bringing in our experience of helping to establish and administrate an English school in Nairobi (Which continues to thrive today) to developing tools alongside StudentReach staff that has been a life changing resource to over 1500 youth in only the past 5 years.
We have developed strategic partnerships in Sacramento with other non-profits, social clubs, religious groups and school districts. Many of these relationships that extend beyond bureaucracy and have developed into friendships because of our shared desire to help refugee youth.
Last month I attended the Refugee Partnership which host the National Director of Refugee resettlement. Sitting in an over-filled room, and finding out that Sacramento will once again be the #1 resettlement city in the country made it evident that our resource is not only beneficial but necessary. While the room was crowded that day, only a small handful of those organizations present, are helping youth. To encourage more resources for youth the State Department has implemented a division that focuses on refugee youth.
When we first started to develop our refugee youth program, we sat down with the State Refugee Coordinator and asked, what they had for refugee youth. His response was, we do nothing for youth specifically, so this newly developed division is AMAZING. The state coordinator encouraged us at the time to continue to move forward and connected us to the school districts, understanding that our resource was valuable. When they announced the new focus on youth, you have no idea how shocked I was.
Once again, I am certain that we need to do more in Sacramento, because we are indeed serving not only our city but the greater hurting world from Africa, to the Middle East.
Thank you for being not only a supporter but a part of the change in lives of refugee and at-risk youth who come from all over the world, and just happen to live in California.