In December of 2018 WVIRM welcomed two asylum seeking families fleeing persecution in their home countries of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the basis of their political opinions and social group membership. Another family, fleeing similar persecution, arrived in January of 2019.
WVIRM has aided these families, consisting of seven adults and seven children since then. One family moved on to be with relatives, but the other two remain. WVIRM’s volunteers have partnered with other charities in Charleston, West Virginia to provide housing, food, gently used clothing, school supplies and English as a Second Language Learning to our asylum seeking families. The children have done very well in school, and the adults are rapidly learning English. The families have participated in community activities and our hope is that they will someday gain asylum status and be on a path to self sufficiency and success in our beautiful country and the great State of West Virginia.
In partnership with the Islamic Association of West Virginia, WVIRM is excited to announce the WVIRM/IAWV Educational Scholarship Program. The program will award grants to some of the newest West Virginian refugee, asylums, non-US citizen immigrants and Temporary Protected Status students in our beloved Mountain State. Criteria to be eligible to apply for an award, and information about the application process, as well as forms are available on our new webpage here WVIRM/IAWV EDUCATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Please follow us on Facebook and here at our WVIRM website for lots of opportunities this summer! We are planning to participate in Charleston WV’s Artwalk and other summer events so you can learn more about doing our part to aid the rising number of refugees worldwide! In other WVIRM news, we continue to work on our local and overseas refugee scholarship programs – stay in touch to learn more!
The WV House Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to consider HB 4555 this afternoon (Feb 14, 2018) This is a particularly ugly bill aimed at demonizing refugees. Call Chairman Jim Butler at 304 340-3199 and tell him to take HB 4555 off the agenda because all kinds are welcome here in WV.
Great time at WV State Capitol advocating for refugees on Civil Rights lobby day! WVIRM’s president, Veep and Communications Director were at the WV State Capitol on Feb 8, 2018 at a table with information and postcards to sign advocating for refugee admissions and aid. While many who stopped by our table were already supporters, we also had people stop by who were initially fearful about refugees. They asked like “what about the vetting?” and “will refugees be a burden?” After hearing about the 5 federal agencies and the lengthy (at least 2 years) vetting process, as well as the economic benefits of refugees in welcoming communities like Cleveland, Utica NY etc., some said the new information changed their minds and opened their hearts! Here’s a pic of the signed postcards we are sending to Congress!
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Please visit our WVIRM Table at the WV State Capitol this Thursday February 8 for All Kinds Welcome Lobby Day! Stop by to say hello and learn about our recent efforts to help refugees, and what you can do to help. Hope to see you there!
August 30, 2017
We are saddened by the State Department’s decision not to resettle refugees in our area next year, but the West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry is not closing our doors and we are not giving up. We are already beginning conversations on moving forward in new ways to fulfill our mission of “Striving to improve the lives of refugees.”
We have worked for almost two years to organize a movement dedicated to refugee resettlement, welcome, and promoting interfaith respect, compassion and understanding. Our network of supporters continues to grow, and fills us with confidence that West Virginians realize that supporting refugee resettlement is not only an American tradition; it is the right thing to do.