Welcome Weekend is free for newly-arrived to the U.S. refugees. At our 1st in October we provided 150 attendees with the experience of feeling welcome and "At Home" thanks to 30 volunteers, delicious food, beautiful outdoors, fun games, and insightful workshops. One attendee said it was the first time in 3 years that she was a part of America. Over Memorial Day wknd 2019, we will host another 150, in Boulder Creek, California. 2 more retreats after that are being planned which will host 350 more
Refugees resettled within the United States often come from a tight community of family and friends. While being resettled here seems fortunate to many, refugees endure many years of isolation, language development, and even sometimes racism. We have even heard clients say that living in the U.S. made them miss the refugee camps they lived in their countries purely for the community they felt and now no longer feel. This is not only heartbreaking it is detrimental to our country's progress.
Welcome Weekend (and all programs of At Home Humanitarian) focus on helping refugees feel At Home in their new community. WW introduces them to others in their situation and opens eyes to the friendly supporters whom surround them. During our last weekend we hosted 150 from countries all over (Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Turkey, Thailand, etc.). By the end, all had developed lasting relationships with one another and expressed feelings of new hope.
As a volunteer organization, we encourage those we have served to pay it forward. We have attendees from the 1st weekend coming to the next weekend just to help. These experiences bring cultures, races, and religions together in harmony. The more we learn about each other, the more we see how alike we are. Spreading this will bring lasting peace and hope to our world. "The ache for home lives in all of us, a safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." -Maya Angelou