Stand Up for Refugees Around the World

by Refugee Assistance and Information Network International
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World
Stand Up for Refugees Around the World

Hi RAINmakers! Welcome to our Spring 2019 RAIN Report, with updates about our new projects and where you can get involved.

Professional Development Toolkits and Trainings

Phew – It might be fair to say RAIN can’t keep up with how many requests we’ve received to present our Change the Narrative training along with trainings on migration issues, diversity integration and professional development by businesses, schools, agencies, churches, at conferences…

Because of this, we are looking to streamline our workshops by creating Diversity Toolkits: Serving Refugee and Immigrant Communities. These will be developed for community-based health centers, public and private social service agencies and school districts on strategies for improving their service models on working with refugee and immigrant communities, which are often underserved in mainstream service providers. Sign up here if your organization would like to participate in piloting this program with us.

Educational Development

RAIN is developing curriculum for and will soon be teaching a new Refugee Studies class at Portland State University, the university’s first ever course on this topic.

Policy Advocacy

RAIN has officially endorsed Oregon House Bill 2508 called the “Welcoming Refugees Bill,” which will not only save refugee resettlement in Oregon but also enhance it. We’ve partnered with Unite Oregon and the 3 resettlement agencies in Portland to provide expert testimony and support and education for the bill. Watching the political process and seeing how narratives can become policy and how we can impact that has been amazing.

Research

RAIN has applied for a grant to conduct research into refugee resettlement in Oregon and how extended case management can impact integration. We are also working with PSU’s school of Health Policy’s evaluation class to create a formal evaluation of our Thrive Program.

Thrive Youth Program

Our Thrive Program is going strong in year 3! Marimba workshops, baking, screen printing and soccer have been some of our favorite workshops this year so far. We have heard only positive feedback from our youth and volunteers such as “Thrive is bringing kids together to communicate, learn, and share cultures to create a community. That's something that feels very important to me as a human being and activist.” We are looking to expand into other refugee-serving agencies next year. If you would like to help with Thrive and are based in Portland, please sign up to volunteer here. Also – follow our youth-led Thrive Instagram page for all the latest updates (@thriveyouthpdx)!

Thank you for your continued support of RAIN's work, and for being an integral part of our community.

Forward together,

Kelsey LeBrun Keswani

Co-Founder/Director

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Hello RAIN Community,

As the news of the presidential cap on U.S. refugee admissions for next year sets in and the low number of 30,000 settles in, many are asking the obvious questions: What will be the impact on the agencies who resettle refugees, and will the U.S. refugee resettlement system as we know it survive these next few years?

The answer, of course, is that we aren't sure yet. Big changes are in the future for refugee resettlement programs and agencies, and we are preparing for the worst. If you want to know what you can do, head to the RAIN International blog for a rundown of the current state of affairs, and a list of 5 things you can do to help. The first is learning the facts and getting informed, so click here for more and read on.

If you're looking for the perfect holiday gift for someone in your life, making a donation to RAIN in a loved one's name is a great way to support refugees and migrants. RAIN works with politicians, journalists and the public to deeply understand the needs of refugee and immigrants, instead of simply repeating rhetoric.

We work with refugee shelters and camps all over the world to help connect research to policy and policy to practice. 

We share news and policy updates that are vetted for accuracy and rooted in human dignity.

We provide training and support to organizations about refugee and immigrants rights and best practices.

Join us today, and give a holiday gift that is meaningful! You'll be supporting our Thrive Peer-Support Youth Program, as well as the building of our new Policy and Training Center.

Happy holidays, and here's to a 2019 filled with more compassion and hope.

Forward together,

The RAIN International Team

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Hello RAIN Community,

RAIN’s Thrive Youth Program is back for its third year! After taking time this summer to rest and regroup, the Thrive Youth Program began actively planning for the new school year in August. Thrive is again partnering with an unaccompanied shelter for minors that houses up to 50 young people at a time. Our program works with high schools across the Portland Tri-Metro area to bring youth together for cross-cultural and equal ground exchanges of art, music and language activities. For more on Thrive, please visit us here

This summer, as migration issues were thrown into the spotlight after the U.S. Administration passed the policy to separate children from their parents at the border, RAIN piloted our new Migration Training and Research Center. The RAIN team spent most of June and July engaged in speaking events to bring education and advocacy to this devastating policy. RAIN became a source of information for politicians and government legislators, including Senator Jeff Merkely, policy makers, university staff, and journalists. RAIN’s Executive Director Kelsey LeBrun Keswani was asked to produce a Facebook Live training called Migrant Children and the Border Crisis: What You Need to Know. This event was co-hosted by RAIN and Catholic Charities of Oregon, and can be watched via Facebook, YouTube or listened to as a podcast. RAIN staff also presented at the North American Refugee Health Conference to the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s network of providers, and were keynote speakers at Portland State University’s Culture and Conversation Series on Human Rights and Immigration.

The key to changing the narrative around migration is being informed—knowing the facts and where to direct efforts that will impact change. If your school, business, organization or community group is interested in learning more, the RAIN team is ready to educate and mobilize your efforts to get involved. Learn more about refugee resettlement, the systems processing unaccompanied children, or how you can be a part of the change by sending us a Facebook message or an email to info@raininternational.org.

Forward together,

Kelsey LeBrun Keswani

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Hello RAIN Community,

We’re happy to be sharing the latest news with our supporters as we finish off a busy spring and prepare for World Refugee Day 2018 on June 20. Last month, we wrapped up the end of our successful Thrive youth program school year, and are excited to announce that the program will continue next year as well. Thrive is a youth-driven, peer-to-peer mentoring program which works collaboratively with various refugee resettlement agencies to pair local Portland area youth with immigrant and refugee teens. You can learn more about recent Thrive program activities and initiatives in our last GlobalGiving report. We also completed our second IKEA National Foundation 5,000 Dreams for Refugees bed set delivery, where were given 98 bed sets for refugees in the state of Oregon last week. Everyone deserves a safe and comfortable place to lay their head, and we are proud to partner with the IKEA National Foundation to distribute these bed sets.

On the research and training front, RAIN has been chosen to present at the North American Refugee Health Conference from June 7-9 in Portland. Co-Founder/Director Kelsey LeBrun Keswani, Board President Jessica Currier, and Vice President R. Bernal Cruz Menoz will present Changing the Narrative of Refugees and Immigrants: Methods of Confronting the Narratives in Us and Around Us. This presentation is anchored in RAIN’s core principle of reframing narratives of migration and language. Jessica will also present her poster on Creating Culturally Competent Services: Improving the Health of Europe’s Migrant Population. If you are attending, please swing by and say hello! RAIN has also been asked to speak about best practices to the Office of Refugee Resettlement network of resettlement providers. These opportunities to share our work and perspectives are helping us plan the launch of our next big project: our new Migration Training and Research Center. This exciting new initiative will synthesize our work and the collective experience of our international team, and will serve as a hub for information on how best to serve refugee communities.

In the face of particularly draconian developments in immigration policy and practice in the U.S., we hope this update has provided a little light. Please keep in touch and share the ways that you are #ChangingTheNarrative around refugees and global migration. If you’re not already subscribed to our newsletter, the RAIN Report, please make sure you do so here— we will be sending out the next issue soon. As always, you can find updates and news on migration on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to sharing more good news with you as our work continues.

Forward together,

The RAIN International Team

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Dear RAIN community members,

It’s clear that the future of this country, and of the world more broadly, is being shaped by dynamic young people with a determination to change the status quo.

In this donor report, we want to update you on our THRIVE Youth Program, a transformative program for youth that want to develop themselves and their communities through communication and intercultural connections. These young people are building bridges and making big things happen in the Portland area, including community events, arts and language workshops, fundraising campaigns, and partnerships with local businesses. More than 80 youth participate in our THRIVE Program, half of who are unaccompanied children from Central America who are new to the United States. The other half of youth participants are local high schoolers and more than 30 community volunteers who participate in our unique peer support program.

THRIVE’s purpose is to break down the concept of service, and our framework stresses that the local youth aren’t “helping” the newly arrived participants, but instead are creating and sustaining critically important cultural exchange. Right now, we have 4 schools and two refugee programs involved, and we are proud that two of those schools have integrated the program into their curriculum.

THRIVE’s mission statement declares:

We are THRIVE. We are a generation of young people seeking to create bridges across culture, language and nationality. We seek connections that allow us to celebrate, honor, and share our humanity. Through our collaborative cultural exchanges, we endeavor to build a more compassionate, inclusive world. We are THRIVE, and we are bigger than any border, status or ideology.

Check out this passion in action in the attached event photos from International Sports Day, art created by youth participants, and a joint fundraising/education event. 

We remain incredibly grateful for your support of RAIN and our work with refugee and migrant communities. You have been an integral part of our mission to change the narrative, and to provide assistance, information and resources to refugees and the professionals and communities supporting them on a global scale. Stay tuned for more updates, read more about THRIVE here, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Forward together,

Refugee and Assistance Information Network International

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Organization Information

Refugee Assistance and Information Network International

Location: Tigard, OR - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @rainintlorg
Refugee Assistance and Information Network International
Alexandra Tamiko Da Dalt
Project Leader:
Alexandra Tamiko Da Dalt
Media & Resource Coordinator, RAIN International
Portland, OR United States

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