Welcome to the ninth post in the “10 Ways to Support Immigrants and Refugees” series!
#2: Gain Experience
Although immigration and refugee issues affect many Americans, they do not directly affect all of us. Because of this, it can be difficult for those who care about human rights to feel connected to immigration rights issues. A way to combat this is to gain personal experience volunteering for or communicating with refugees and immigrants. Many organizations offer opportunities to connect one-on-one with refugees, such as Samaritas‘ tutoring program and the Refugee Outreach Collective’s Global Classroom program.
When interacting directly with immigrants and refugees, it can be helpful to learn some basic terms in the language they are most comfortable with. In my experience working with a refugee partner from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, learning a bit of Swahili made her feel included and more comfortable with me. Even a simple “hello” in their primary language will help you build a meaningful relationship with your partner.
How do you stay updated on issues affecting immigrants and refugees in your community and across the globe? Let us know on our social media!
– Annaliese Fowler, Puente CI Data Analyst