Today is World Refugee Day. There are many ways to support the refugee community. Please CLICK HERE and check out ideas and ways you can help. You can also contact us to work with local refugees and to help build a stronger community.
Phong Au-Hong, a student from UCR and Glocally Connected’s Project Management Director, was awarded the Donald A. Strauss Fellowship. With the Strauss family's mentorship and financial support of $10,000, we will be able to initiate one of the many engaged projects that utilizes UCR resources for the greater good of our community.
The project and intended goal of the award is outlined below via straussfoundation.org:
Project Title: Project 51- The Refugee Empowerment Project
Named after the UN Refugee Convention of 1951, Project 51 aims to empower refugee women through two approaches. (1) Addressing the women’s need to learn English, Project 51’s Language and Cultural Immersion Course will offer a conversational partner program, which pairs refugee women with UCR students or Riverside community members to practice English and exchange culture. (2) Addressing the need of health literacy, Project 51’s Learning Circle will offer group discussions among refugees and community members to talk about topics concerning refugee’s well-being such as managing health and coping with race-related stress. In collaboration with on-campus academic departments and off-campus nonprofit organizations, Project 51 will cultivate strong relationships between the refugee community and local community. As the first UCR refugee support program, the project hopes to provide the resources needed for refugee women to empower themselves and their families as they start their new lives in the United States.
As soon as our ESL class ended that day, Sherry immediately called me to share the exciting news: "Our students/refugee women fed the homeless today! It was a special class since we also wanted to honor and celebrate Mother's Day," she said. I can hear Sherry's joy through the phone, a testament that the women's endeavor illuminated light and strength to our team and the entire community (1 of 108700883... mission accomplished).
Since the very beginning of our organization's establishment, I understood that it is not our responsibility to help everyone, nor is it humanly possible to do so. My heart is fulfilled whenever we can make a difference in a person's life, regardless if they are a refugee or not. This act bridges the gap of global and local issues: homelessness. According to 2016's statistics, reported by Riverside's Department of Public Social Services, there are 1,351 unsheltered and 814 sheltered homeless people (total = 2,165) in Riverside County, California. Although percentage has decreased since 2015 to 2016 by 12%, these numbers clearly paint a picture: we all long for a sense of home and as community members, should engage in a dialogue to alleviate this issue.
These acts of generosity remind us that those who are often marginalized and "victimized" have agency to stand up. In solidarity, they, undoubtedly, have the independence and courage to contribute in larger communal endeavors. We are hoping to continue this intiative and collaborate with other organizations to start a similar project involving our refugee and homeless community.
Click here to read the full article from Press- Enterprise.
On May 4, 2017, Rawdanur attended California State University, San Bernardino to share her sentiments towards the status of refugees today, her personal testimony and her advocacy. Read the news article here.
Communicating across cultures can be challenging. Awareness of our own cultural biases and respecting others can facilitate communication.
Dr. Selin Yildiz Nielsen and Rawdanur Cuma attended the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit at Istanbul, Turkey.
Rawdanur is also featured in Malala's blog, please read below:
Glocally Connected hosted peace walk for Syrian Refugees on Sunday morning Sept, 20. Thank you to all our friends and community members who came out and walked in extremely hot weather for our first Peace Walk on Sunday. Check out the article in UCR's Highlander.
Here is the link to the article: