I have enjoyed the beauty of the Granite State for the last five years. I have been privileged to work with refugees arriving from Asia, Africa, and Ukraine as their resettlement case manager. I have met a lot of people who appreciate or are skeptical about the contribution of immigrants to the development of the Granite State. Some are waiting for figures to be convinced. I interpreted for a non-English speaker patient for the doctor to be able to deliver on his job. I have connected a human resource of Velcro Inc. with an energetic young man arriving from a refugee camp in Rwanda. I have taken a senior mom to the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center to get help as she copes with the horrors of war she left behind in her native home in Congo. A Rohingya Muslim living in Nashua would call me to help him to apply for his permanent residence. I was glad to refer him to Catholic Charities in Nashua.
I worked with a beautiful couple in their 70s to hang curtains, clean, and make beds in the apartment for a group of Afghan soldiers resettled in Manchester after the Kabul fall. I asked the couple in retirement why they chose to volunteer with me. “In their shoes, I would need more than them. “The husband replied. The next day, I picked an Afghan family of 7 at the airport with the help of volunteers from Portsmouth; they had fundraised to have this family live in their area and to take care of them until they could fly on their own wings-what a model! I have contributed to seeing the same model in Bedford, Laconia, and Lebanon.
In tandem with the three years and five months into this community support role, I dared to pursue a graduate degree to gain more skills in community development policies and practice. My job would inform much of the assignments: I would do a policy seminar paper on how Immigrants can effectively learn English to benefit them and the labor market. In Professor Michael Swack’s theory of development class, I opted to work on Community-driven development as my theory. The community coming together can generate a self-driven impulse that satisfies both ways and fixes loopholes! What about my friend Jeff Ashe’s book: In Their Own Hands? It depicts how the community does better when given the steering wheel of their fate! It is useful when you are in a programmatic inclusion business.
News Circle presents harsh concepts sometimes. It is inflation today and induction tomorrow. Concepts of racial disparities, inequalities, and inequities are dominant terms on cable news. As a trained journalist and community developer, I have always wanted to find the intersection of issues: How do immigrants and service providers connect to have substantial and beneficial encounters? Educationalists and immigrant kids? Health system and immigrant patients? The jailer and jailed immigrant? Having an African immigrant in the neighborhood? Landlady and an immigrant tenant? What about equipping a supervisor to understand his immigrant supervisee?
The gap is felt and sensational
What if we treat bridging the gaps as business cases to invest in with models that predict short- medium- and long-term benefits?
Welcome to the Moving Together Conversations!