[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"]Celebrating the success of our refugee ladies feels great and motivates the rest of the refugee community. For our 6th Annual Celebration of Refugee Women's Success "Awards Ceremony," the community filled every seat and stood in every nook to welcome their new neighbors home."Instead of calling 9-1-1, I call Women of the World!" said Syntishe as she accepted her achievement award, stepping into her mother's place in using our customized service approach after her mother had a recent stroke. Syntishe, like many refugee women juggle a lot of different roles: she is a caretaker for her grandmother, her son, and now her mother; she is employed; and she is going to community college.
You have really stepped up during some tragic times. You stand tall and work hard no matter what. We see your genuine compassion and gratitude toward your mom and we know that you will do anything to help her. We hope you know that your commitment to your family does not go unnoticed. With sincere appreciation we present you with this certificate.
Certificate of Achievement for Syntishe
Many, like Layla, specifically thanked Women of the World volunteers, who were also honored. Our amazing volunteers befriend refugee women, and by practicing English, assisting them overcome bureaucratic challenges, and advocating on their behalf, they give them a voice.
You are a beautiful woman inside and out. Your willingness to lend a helping hand to everyone and to share your beautiful culture through food and thought is inspiring. Your success in becoming a dental assistant is encouraging for all young women. We have no doubt that you will bring so much joy to each and every one of your patients as you make their smiles that much brighter.
Certificate of Achievement for Layla
Others mentioned that seeing their peers get a certificate of achievement from Women of the World motivated them to step up their efforts in the classroom and in setting aside time for them, so they could succeed, even while their families where depending on them to earn a living.
Your work at the University of Utah to study and on research projects in Material Science and Engineer will grant you access to amazing opportunities to work with advanced technologies and a diverse set of smart and hard-working people. I know that your intelligence and diligence will fit right into my industry of semiconductor manufacturing and believe you will make wonderful contributions.
Certificate of Achievement for Sama
There are plenty setting the positive example for their peers this year. Their courage is contagious!
Your desire to study and gain a foothold in civil engineering is just one more amazing chapter in your life. The fact that you are documenting your life of triumph over hardship will reverberate across the world and give hope to women all over the world. Your courage is contagious!
Certificate of Achievement for Diane
Where some in our community are quiet and diligent, others are firebrands. Angelina took her award from Salt Lake City Mayor Biskupski with a chant of, "I like America. I like to work, work, work for myself."
Grandmothers are the spiritual center of the family: they are wise, kind, and concerned for the well-being of everyone before themselves. Nothing – not age or the fact that you had never had a job – was going to keep you from pulling your own weight in the family… but what you didn’t expect was that there were a lot of us grandmothers pulling along with you. You are a beloved member of our community!
Certificate of Achievement for Angelina
All of these women are a testament to continued courage in the face of adversity. It makes their accomplishments of getting a promotion or graduating college all the more worthy of praise.
Your persistence, determination and hard work are inspiring. You continue to make important efforts at work that show your children and the entire community that hard work can pay off. You will make a wonderful nurse and will help others as much as you have helped yourself.
Certificate of Achievement for Georgette
Your persistence, determination and hard work are inspiring. You have fought hard for a better life for your children and for yourself. You are always willing to take care of others. Your strong personality complements your beautiful and soft smile. We are very proud of you and your commitment to go back to school to further your education.
Certificate of Achievement for Cosette
There are so many care-givers in our community! Of course, this is no surprise to us, we know how caring those inside our community are -- it is a big family.
Your genuine strength and determination are amazing. Even through the most difficult of times your positive attitude prevails. You always act according to your morals and are never looking for the easy way out. You have worked tirelessly to create a great life for your daughters, the loves of your life. We are so proud of your success in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant. Your patients will love you as much as we do!
Certificate of Achievement for Chantal
Every day is an achievement when you are a single mother pulling to keep your children, work, and dreams together under the umbrella of your love and undying effort. Your achievement has come from making the hard decisions, continuing to ask for help until – by the force of will – you figure it out on your own and can rely on yourself. You have had it in you the whole time!
Certificate of Achievement for Pelagie
We see the divinity in the diligence of the mother trying to help her kids fit into a place she doesn't see as home. We want her to make it, to redeem a bit of the humanity that broke down and forced her to flee.
You will receive many such promotions and achievements in your life thanks to your hard-work and diligence. Your abilities will continue to match your dreams as you begin working toward further education in college next semester. Your achievements shine bright and the community follows you and those you surround yourself with.
Certificate of Achievement for Baidaa
The greatest type of hero is someone who, without complaint, works everyday to keep their family fed, clothed, and sheltered. Working numerous jobs, balancing schedules, buying the groceries and doing the shopping is never recognized for what it is – the strength of love and the power of the female at the front of the family. Your education has already started, nothing will stand in your way, you will fulfill your dreams.
Certificate of Achievement for Karimeh
United We Stand
Of course we are impressed by our ladies. But they are impressed by you in the community. What an outpouring of support! Over 300 people, equal numbers refugee and native Utahns, filled the atrium space to celebrate. It was the first time in the 6 year history of the event that so many new faces came out to support the successes of women refugees.
Mayor Biskupski, braving a cold, stood alongside women refugees and gave a full-throated defense of those squarely in the line of fire of the rhetoric of the most recent Presidential campaign. She promised to serve the women of the world that call Salt Lake City home and to protect their liberties that they have struggled to find.
As Women of the World closes the books on 2016, we are humbled by the support of the community and the achievement of our new neighbors. Most of the women receiving awards this year eloquently shared their nuanced and authentic stories and heartfelt appreciation of our work. WoW had an extraordinarily successful year in developing funds and were equally as diligent in its management, spending 90% of all expenses directly on the custom programs that have become our cornerstone.
Never before in the short history of Women of the World have we been more in the center of events.With the election of Donald Trump against a constant, singular opposition from Utah Republicans, our vision and that of community’s leadership is aligned against the exclusivity and misguided attacks on our ladies and their path toward integrating into our society. Protecting refugees and immigrants is raised as not only a societal need, but as a political one too. WoW is now at a front line of protecting the ideals that have enabled humanity to flourish.Our strategic intent for this year, set in October, rings truer in November. This year we are charged to stand with others serving refugees, to partner in our community, and to give everything we can to steer and steward humanity. In 2017 Women of the World promises to stand with a united coalition committed to the ideal that home is more than walls and that a country is more than just its boundaries.
Our wonderful local journalists (Salt Lake Tribune | ABC 4 Utah) documented the sentiment of the event. We arestill rounding up some more photos and video footage and will post them as they become available.