Tag Archives: Refugees

Refugee employees prove profitable for local businesses

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Story by Chris Miller

 

Many of Akron’s resettled refugees were restricted from working during their time in the camps. Now that they’ve resettled, they’re excited to enter the workforce and form a sense of identity and independence, says Tiffany Stacy, regional manager of employment services for the International Institute of Akron (IIA).

“A lot of our clients come from situations where they were refugees in countries where they did not have the right to work, so for many years they couldn’t work; all they could do was live off the food rations they were given,” she adds. “That has an effect on people; it’s demoralizing. You don’t feel a sense of control over your own destiny. When people get here, they’re very excited to get a job, they’re excited to work for something, to have a purpose. They come alive, their demeanor often changes.”

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Education for Akron’s Bhutanese Refugees Part 3

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Story by Tom Crain

Education beyond K-12

Educational requirements for Summit County refugees 18 years and older are serviced through Project Learn, an organization spearheading the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction. Project Learn is part of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) through the state of Ohio and is funded by the Ohio Board of Regents. It also receives support from United Way of Summit County, GAR and Akron Community Foundation.

Project Learn partners with local refugee resettlement organizations, including International Institute of Akron (IIA), Asian Services in Action (ASIA) and World Relief, to administer classes.  There are 64 different countries represented in Project Learn’s ESOL program, with over 40 languages spoken. At any one time, there are 20 classes held at various sites throughout the county, with a current enrollment of 550 students, many of whom are refugees.

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THE FIRST 90 DAYS:

Bhutanese Refugees face a ticking clock of self-sufficiency
laden with many hurdles and challenges along the way

Story by Tom Crain
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Durga, Nirmala, Bishnu, and Kailash  Ghimirey

 

Durga Ghimirey is one of 120,000 Bhutanese refugees being relocated around the world. He is a member of the Lhotshampas, the unlucky ethnic group in Bhutan who fell victim to ethnic cleansing.

As a teen, he fled to India, then was trucked to Goldhap, one of seven refugee camps in Nepal. Here, he spent nearly two decades highlighted by his marriage to wife Bishnu and raising two children, daughter Nirmala and son Kailash. He and his family lived in a cramped bamboo hut without running water or electricity. He received rice rations once a month having to make them last, earning extra money to pay for supplemental food or having his family go hungry. He and his family experienced several bouts of life threatening starvation and illnesses, and witnessed other camp residents dying all around them.

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International Institute Hosts Citizenship Ceremony for Nearly 50 New Residents

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Nearly fifty men and women from 30 different countries took an oath
of allegiance at the Akron-Summit County Public Library and became U.S. citizens
June 30 as part of a naturalization ceremony. (Photo: Chris Miller)

 

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About 50 residents were officially given their U.S. citizenship on Tuesday. The Naturalization Oath Ceremony, held at the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Main Library auditorium, awarded citizenship to people from India, South Korea, Burma, Canada, Hungary, Belarus, China, Lebanon, France, Peru, Mexico and Cameroon, among a few dozen other countries.

The International Institute of Akron (IIA), the event host, was on hand to celebrate the naturalization of these citizens. Elaine Woloshyn, executive director of the agency, served as the event moderator, which was fitting considering all the work the IIA has done to help prepare these and other new citizens. The International Institute has helped immigrants and refugees for almost 100 years. Akron has a wealth of agencies to help these residents, including Asian Services in Action (ASIA Inc.)

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International Institute of Akron Flourishes Throughout North Hill Community (Part Two of Two)

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Story By: Katie Cassaro

Unique is one of the best ways to describe Akron’s very own growing cultural district in North Hill.

“There really isn’t anything else in Akron that has such a unique international focus as this,” Susan Wuscher, International Consultant & Contractor, shared.

And the International Institute of Akron (IIA) is watering continuous efforts to support the growth of cultural inclusion in this diverse part of the city.

With that has come many new things springing up, bringing positive change.

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