Episcopal Refugee Network
This project provides food, and access to medical and other services, to 2000 refugees struggling to become self sufficient in San Diego County, where increasing arrivals have long outpaced resources.It provides tutoring to 100 refugee children each week, to develop their English skills and catch them up to the knowledge base of the school class. Each year at least 5 of the high school children from tutoring graduate and two or more go on to university - amazing after only 3 or 4 years in USA.
Of the more than 100,000 refugees currently living in San Diego county, over a half have limited or no English skills, and over a third are not literate in any language. Many bring physical disabilities and other health issues, and many have suffered severe traumas. Newcomers often have never lived in a city, used money or electricity, or ridden in a car before their journey from refugee camp to San Diego. Solving basic need, health and access issues helps those refugees adapt to their new life.
The project will provide translation, transportation, and advocacy and access resources for the refugees who need them, and supply other daily necessities, to which many do not have access. It will also empower refugee school children, by tutoring those who need help with English and background knowledge, because they are placed in school classes according to their age, not their knowledge level. This is particularly important for high school children who may have had no formal education.
At least 2,000 refugees will be served per year. They will learn how to access services available to them, and develop self confidence; and they will become active and productive community members. The tutoring will prevent students from dropping out of school, because they cannot understand or communicate with the teacher, and makes graduation from high school, and readiness for job training or university real for them. This opens the door to productivity and sense of self- worth.