What has WVIRM done so far?
- WVIRM welcomed 3 asylum seeking families to West Virginia in 2018 and 2019. The families are fleeing persecution in their home countries of Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo for reasons such as their political opinions and/or social group membership. WVIRM is partnering with other local charities to provide the families access to housing, food, school supplies for the children etc. One family has remained in West Virginia and is self-supporting.
- WVIRM is having continued success with its WVIRM/IAWV SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM.
- WVIRM funded a small grant for WV Step by Step to order children’s books on refugee families and to develop a curriculum for schools, reading programs and after school programs to use to help schoolchildren understand the refugee crisis.
- WVIRM approved a scholarship working with the local chapter of the Syrian American Medical Society to help medical students who have fled Syria to continue their medical training.
- Participated in Civil Rights Lobby Day at the WV State Capitol.
- Held informational community events such as talks to community and religious organizations about refugee resettlement, and information tables at community events such as the Charleston WV Artwalk.
- WVIRM met with WV Senators, Congressional staffers and officials in WV State Government to discuss issues relevant to refugee resettlement and temporary protected status. Had its letter to a staff person in Senator Shelley Moore Capito’s office, asking for extension of temporary protected status for refugees from several countries, sent in a Congressional Communique to the Director of the Federal Department of Homeland Security.
- WVIRM participated in Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s Virtual Advocacy Days, speaking with staffers from the offices of Senators Manchin and Capito.
- WVIRM’s organization has been used as a model for similar organizations in Alabama and other locations in the United State.
- Hosted Welcome Week in September 2020, celebrating the contributions of immigrants in our community.
- WVIRM partnered with the University of Charleston and ACLU WV in the creation of the Families Belong Together mural on Hale Street in Charleston, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S.
What does the future look like for WVIRM?
With a change in the federal administration as a result of the 2020 election, WVIRM is hopeful that restrictions on the admission of refugees to the U.S. will be lifted, allowing WVIRM to fulfill its mission of “striving to improve the lives of refugees.”
To be a part of our future, click the Contact or Donate headings on our menu.