Africa

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

Women of the World is excited to promote this amazing book of seeking refuge and making a life of resettlement. WoW is working with the publishers and Clemantine to have a Skype chat hosted by a local library... so stay tuned for details.

Josephine's Journey: Refugee from Congo Finds Hope, Home in Utah

Three thousand miles. That’s how far Josephine walked through the jungle to escape the bloody civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo to reach South Africa. Josephine's indomitable spirit helped her escape from war-torn Congo and adjust to her new life in Utah. Her story will touch your heart.

Mashallah: Refugee Women Express Gratitude to WoW Case Manager Abby Bossart

The refugee women who visit Women of the World’s office come with different stories, different burdens, and different challenges, but they all seem to have one thing in common: their heartfelt appreciation and affection for case manager Abby Bossart.

Saida Dahir: If I’m Silent, Hate Wins

Then it was Saida’s turn to speak. A sixteen-year-old refugee from Somalia who spent the first three years of her life in a Kenyan refugee camp, Saida escaped the turmoil and destruction in her native land to make a home in Utah with her family. Wearing a big smile, a black hijab with white stripes, and a “Black Lives Matter” sweatshirt, she strode confidently to the microphone.“I’m black, I’m Muslim, I am all these stereotypes. I’m a woman. My whole identity has been under attack.”

Resettlement: A Refugee's Long Journey to a New Home

[et_pb_section background_image="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Somali-refugees-in-Ethiopia-UNICEF-Ethiopia.jpg" transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_divider color="#ffffff" height="200" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#f7f7f4" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="0px||2px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="10em" text_text_color="#323232" text_line_height="1.1em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="0px||0px|" disabled="off"]16[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" custom_css_main_element="width:20px;" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="18" text_text_color="#363636" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="-10px||0px|" disabled="off"]FEBRUARY, 2017[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_text_color="#02b875" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="20px|||" disabled="off"]Refugee CampsResettlementSociety[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="24" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.4em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="10px||0px|" disabled="off"]Nimo Hashi nervously adjusted her hijab as she scanned the passengers arriving at the Salt Lake International Airport terminal last Friday, hoping to catch sight of her husband in the crowd. Her two-year old daughter, Taslim, dressed for the occasion in a blue jumper with large white polka dots, shifted back and forth in her white shoes, looking back occasionally at her mother’s anxious face.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]When Abdisellam Hassen Ahmed emerged from customs, Hashi, flowers in one hand and Taslim in the other, walked over to her husband, and the family quietly embraced. Ahmed planted an enthusiastic kiss on Hashi’s cheek and beamed as he hoisted his daughter into his arms for the first time, touching her face in wonder. Taslim looked a bit puzzled, not surprising since she’d never met her father. But at that moment, everything else faded into the background — the years of waiting, the unexpected delay, the fear that Ahmed wouldn’t be able to enter the country at all. What mattered now was that their family was finally together.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="5px|||" custom_padding_tablet="17px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Somali-Refugees-in-Dolo-Ado-Ethiopia-UNICEF-Ethiopia.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="on" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="16" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="20px||0px|" disabled="off"]Many Somalis spend their childhoods in refugee camps.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="6px|||" disabled="off"]Photo credit: UNICEF-Ethiopia[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="0px||8px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]

Somalia: A Country in Crisis

A 30-year civil war in Somalia, punctuated by famine, drought, and numberless civilian deaths at the hands of armed militias, has left generations of Somali refugees either born or living in exile. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nearly 1 million Somalis have fled to surrounding countries, primarily Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen. Another 1.1 million more are displaced in camps within Somalia.Refugee camps are meant to be temporary, but many Somali refugees have lived in these camps for decades. The Kenyan government is in the process of closing Dadaab, the country’s largest refugee camp, plunging many of these refugees into despair over an uncertain future.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="9px||9px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" max_width="900px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="48" text_font_size_tablet="38" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.3em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="16px||30px|" disabled="off"]

"Refugee camps are meant to be temporary, but many Somali refugees have lived in these camps for decades."

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#aeaeac" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" hide_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Divider" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="17px||9px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]Ahmed’s story is fairly typical. Now 29, he has lived in refugee camps since he was three. He and Hashi met in an Ethiopian refugee camp after fleeing Somalia to escape the horrors of the country’s long-running civil war. Hashi had already applied for refugee resettlement to the United States when they met and was waiting to hear back about her application status. When she was accepted in 2014, she was married and pregnant with Taslim. She and Ahmed decided it was best for her to go to America without him while they waited for his application to make its way through the vetting process.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" custom_padding="7px|||" custom_padding_tablet="30px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Somali-family-Ethiopia-UNICEF-Ethiopia.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="17px||0px|" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="infographic" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]refugee-admission-to-USA[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="140px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="6px|||" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="620px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||||" text_font_size="20" text_font_size_last_edited="on|tablet" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.5em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px||0px|" disabled="off"]

The Refugee Resettlement Process

The U.N. estimates that approximately 26,000 Somali refugees are currently working through the resettlement process to move to the U.S., a process that can take anywhere from 18 months to three years. While some Americans are ready to welcome these refugees with open arms, others are more cautious. Some are even skeptical that the vetting process can prevent terrorists from landing on U.S. soil. Many people do not understand how incredibly difficult it is for refugees to apply for asylum, much less make it through the arduous resettlement processFor starters, less than one percent -- ONE PERCENT--- of all refugees are referred by the UNHCR for resettlement, and only a small portion of that one percent is referred for resettlement in the United States.The vetting process includes numerous steps, cross-checks, and safeguards. Let’s take a look at the resettlement process, the strictest form of security screening for any traveler to the U.S., with its series of extensive background, security, and health checks.1. Refugee StatusAn individual or family must apply for refugee status with the UNHCR. The U.N. collects identifying documents, biographical information. and biometric data such as iris scans or fingerprints. Applicants undergo an in-depth interview to determine whether they qualify as refugees and are strong candidates for resettlement.2. Referral to the United StatesIf the applicant meets the criteria for resettlement in the U.S., he or she goes to a Resettlement Support Center (RSC). An international resettlement agency or nonprofit contracted by the State Department conducts further interviews, compiles additional background information, and assembles data required by U.S. security agencies for further screening.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"][/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="3px|0px|38.84375px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

3. Security Clearance

The security screening process includes a comprehensive investigation into the applicant’s travel history, affiliations, criminal history, cellphone usage, and social media activity. Applicants from countries with higher terrorist activity, such as Syria or Iraq, are subject to increased scrutiny. Up to six government agencies are involved in the security clearance process, including the Department of Homeland Security, State Department, FBI, United States Intelligence Community, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Defense.

4. In-person Interview

Applicants are interviewed by specially trained personnel from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), photographed, and fingerprinted. Their biometric data are cross-checked against several government databases, including the FBI, DHS, and Defense Department databases, to ensure they aren’t on the terrorist watch list or have committed a crime.

5. DHS Approval and Medical Screening

If the applicant is cleared by DHS, he or she must undergo a medical exam to ensure he or she is strong enough to travel and treated/free from any diseases that could threaten public health.

6. Matching with a Sponsor Agency

The applicant is matched with one of nine national resettlement agencies, who then assign the refugee to a resettlement site with a local affiliate. Catholic Community Services and the International Rescue Committee of Salt Lake are the main resettlement organizations for refugees arriving in Utah. Organizations like Women of the World provide ongoing support to refugees when resettlement services from these local affiliates end.

7. Cultural Orientation

Incoming refugees attend cultural orientation classes to help them adjust to life in the United States. Classes provide refugees with basic information and skills to help ease the transition to their new home.

8. Second Security Clearance

The International Organization for Migration issues the necessary permits and books travel. The applicant is still subject to additional security clearances/checks until departure for the U.S. to ensure the clearance is still valid.

9. Airport Check

Prior to entry to the U.S., applicants are subject to additional screening from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center and the Transportation Security Administration’s Secure Flight Program to confirm the refugee’s identity as the person screened and approved.

10. Admission to the United States

Local resettlement-agency affiliates help refugees settle into their new home and provide initial services such as housing, furnishings, food, and clothing for up to 90 days. They also offer assistance with employment, English-language instruction, and job training. Refugees are expected to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible, no small feat considering the hardships they’ve endured over many years.

A New Life in Salt Lake

Ahmed and Hashi know how fortunate they are, even with the struggles that still lie ahead. Ahmed will need to find a job, learn English, get acquainted with his little girl, and become familiar with the rhythms of life in this new land. But for now, sitting on the couch in his apartment with Taslim and Hashi, he has all he needs.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section transparent_background="off" background_color="#222222" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" custom_padding="0px||7px|" padding_mobile="on" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="Section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="on" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="on" gutter_width="2" custom_padding="40px|||" padding_mobile="on" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-1.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="https://womenofworld.org/celebration-refugee-womens-success/" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="on" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]SUCCESS STORIES[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Celebration of Refugee Women's Success[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Cosette-900x900.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="https://womenofworld.org/burundi-utah-cosettes-story/" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]PODCAST STORIES[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Latest Podcast[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-4.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="https://womenofworld.org/modeling-our-world-2017-fashion-show-fundraiser/" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="on" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans|on|||" text_font_size="12" text_text_color="#888888" text_letter_spacing="2px" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="30px|||" disabled="off"]TRAVEL[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Sans||||" text_font_size="24" text_text_color="#ffffff" text_line_height="1.2em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]Fashion Show[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

From Burundi to Utah: Cosette's Story

[et_pb_section transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" custom_padding="11px|0px|57px|0px" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" admin_label="section" disabled="off"][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="9px|0px|9px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]We'd like you to meet Cosette. Her story is one of courage, resilience, and unfailing optimism. From her childhood in a Rwandan refugee camp, to her family’s struggles in their native Burundi, to her journey to the United States to start a new life, she has consistently met each challenge with strength, conviction, and heart.

A Short History of Burundi

Cosette’s family is originally from Burundi, a small country in East Africa. Most Burundians belong to one of three major ethnic groups: Hutu, Tutsi, or Twa. The three groups coexisted in relative peace until Germany colonized the region in the late 1890s. European rule exacerbated existing social differences between the minority Tutsi and majority Hutu and contributed to general political unrest across the region. After World War I, the territory was ceded to Belgium, which ruled Burundi and neighboring Rwanda as Ruanda-Urundi. Belgium's requirement that Hutus and Tutsis to carry ethnic identity cards, along with the elevation of Tutsis to positions of power, helped divide the country into political "haves" and "have nots," leading to increased hostilities between the two groups.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="42.75px|0px|35px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_2" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

Burundi finally gained its independence from colonial rule in 1962 and became a constitutional monarchy. A series of assassinations, coups, rebellions, and ethnic-based retaliations led the prime minister to abolish the monarchy and establish a de-facto military republic in 1966. Ongoing unrest from the late 1960s to the early 1970s came to a head in 1972, when the army systematically killed "educated" Hutus over a six-month period. The slaughter, also known as the Burundi Genocide, left an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 Hutus dead and another 300,000 people displaced as refugees. In 1976, a bloodless coup brought Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza into power as the country's new president and de-facto dictator.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_code admin_label="Code" disabled="off"][/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="7px|0px|42.75px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" admin_label="Row" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" admin_label="Text" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

In 1987, Major Pierre Buyoya toppled Bagaza's dictatorial government. Unlike his predecessor, though, Buyoya sought to heal the country's ethinc rifts, promoting equal representation of Tutsis and Hutus in government and establishing a national commission tasked with strengthening national unity. His progressive leadership led to the adoption of a new constitution in 1992, Burundi’s first multi-party, democratic presidential election in 1993, and the election of the country's first Hutu president.

The country's sojourn with democracy was short-lived, however. The new president, Melchior Ndadaye, and his successor, Cyprien Ntaryamira, were both assassinated within the space of a year. Ethnic clashes increased and ushered in a period of civil war that lasted from 1993 to 2005, resulting in the deaths of approximately 300,000 Burundians.

The country appeared to stabilize following a peace agreement in 2000, but strife erupted again in 2015 when the president decided to run for a controversial third term, a move many believed was prohibited by the country's constitution. Since then, more than 250,000 people have fled Burundi as tensions and acts of violence mount. Opposition militias are mobilizing in neighboring countries, and human rights group are currently warning of a return to civil war and a "second" Burundian genocide.

Cosette's Interview

Despite continuing unrest and threats of violence in Burundi, Cosette remains upbeat about her country and hopes to return there one day to be with her family and friends. We’ve selected a few excerpts from her interview with Women of the World to share with you. We invite you to listen the entire interview on our podcast.

Can you tell us about your childhood?

“I was born on December 28, 1985, in a refugee camp in Rwanda. My parents left the country in 1980 to save their lives. It was very hard for them to leave their jobs and their home, but they did it and went to Rwanda. They had nothing with them, but they did have their diploma, so they could find work. But my parents decided to go back into Burundi in 1990, so we went back.”

What was it like for your family to return to Burundi after so many years away?

Burundi Flick Creative Commons Christine Vaufrey

"Life is not so easy, particularly when you leave all of your stuff behind. Somebody can take over (what you left), and you have to fight to get your stuff back. My parents had many problems looking for a job and somewhere to live, and there was no help. We got a little bit of help from the government, but not very much. Luckily, my parents were able to get a job and start working.”

How did you come to the U.S.?

“Oh, that’s a really long story! (laughs) So, I finished high school in 2004 and got married. I was a teenager and crazy (laughs). In 2006, my (now) ex-husband got a scholarship to China to get a master’s degree. So he went to China, and I went back to college. In 2009, he told me to join him, and I did. We signed up for the lottery to come to the U.S., and we got in on our first try, so that’s how we came to America: me, my ex-husband and our two children. We came first to Alexandria, Virginia. I was so happy!"

What were your biggest challenges when you arrived?  

“I didn’t speak any English, I spoke French! I learned English first from watching movies. Then they gave me this website I could use to learn English for my driver’s test, and so I used that website. Nobody was expecting me to pass my test, but I did! People told me, “Oh, you go try it, people try like 10 times to get it, you’ll be fine,” and then I got it on the first try. I surprised them, it was my lucky day (laughs). My ex-husband was waiting for me outside with my son, and he says, “Oh, it’s okay, you can come back again,” and I said. ‘No, I got it,” and he’s like, “No you’re joking,” and I say, “Yeah, I did it.”

How did you come to Utah?  

“I had a friend who lives here who said she could find me a job. So I moved to Utah with my children in 2014. I like Utah, it’s a quiet place and I like quiet. I work as a supervisor in a warehouse. I really like that job, you don’t just sit around, you have to be walking around and doing stuff. I told my boss I wanted to work in the warehouse and he said “you have to have muscles,” and I said “I want to do that, I don’t want to be bored.” So he hired me. And when the supervisor position opened up there, I applied and I got it!

I (ultimately) want to be a nurse, so I go to school every evening. I passed my math class (laughs and cheers) so okay, I’m done with math (laughs). So now I’m doing English and psychology. They’re telling me I have to do chemistry, and I hate chemistry, but I will try.”

How has Women of the World helped you?

Women of the World Podcast Team: Samira Harnish, Cosette, Christine Osborne, and Abby Bossart

“Women of the World has helped me a lot. When I wanted to get a divorce, I was wondering how I could get any (child support) from my ex-husband, and they helped me. And any time I have any problem, I come to them. I know I can make some calls, but sometime you think you cannot do it, then you need the support. And when I come to see them, I know everything is okay.

Woman like to keep things inside their hearts, not to share, and I think it’s good to have a place to go, a place you can tell your friends to go to, because you can trust (Women of the World), they will help you. Women need some encouragement, even if it’s just to talk with them. If they can open their heart to you, it really helps them.”

What are your dreams for the future?

“My dream is that my children finish high school, go to college, get PhD (laughs)…So when my children be set and get a job, I will go back home. All my friends are back home. I don’t want to get old here. I want to get old with my friends, talking about our young times. I get a chance to come into this country, it’s a great dream for many people in the world. But I will stay here for my children, work like crazy, give them what I can give them, and let them see if they want to stay here.

You know, your country is your country. I went to visit in 2013, and I’ve really missed my family. I wanted to go again in 2016, and I was telling my mom I wanted to come, and she said, “No, don’t come, there is something going on here, don’t come. If we have to die, we want to know there is someone living from our family.” It’s not easy, not to be able to be with them.”

What advice would you give to women in Burundi about what you’ve learned from living in the U.S.?

“If I go back, I would tell the women in my country to listen to their hearts and maybe try something new. The culture in Burundi says women can’t do that, but if they can open their mind and do it, they cannot give up. I am a free person, and I like to do stuff in my way, and we have some kinds of women like me in my country. If women ask me, I’d say what is the problem with doing this, tell me. If it’s about the culture and nobody is doing it, then I will be the first one doing it (and they can do it, too).”

 

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Bridging Gaps and Cultivating Foundation - A 12-week Program for Refugee High School Girls

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Header Image" src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/There-is-no-greater-agony.jpg" alt="Bridging Gaps and Cultivating Foundation" title_text="Bridging Gaps and Cultivating Foundation" show_in_lightbox="on" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_cta admin_label="Call To Action" title="Keep up to date on all of our activities..." url_new_window="off" button_text="Join our newsletter..." use_background_color="on" background_color="rgba(90,144,147,0.7)" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" disabled="off" disabled_on="on|on|" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_button="off" button_letter_spacing="0" button_use_icon="default" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" button_url="https://womenofworld.org/newsletter-subscription/"] [/et_pb_cta][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_blurb admin_label="IDDev" title="Module 1: Identity Development" url_new_window="off" use_icon="on" font_icon="%%173%%" icon_color="#168794" use_circle="on" circle_color="#ffffff" use_circle_border="on" circle_border_color="#8300e9" icon_placement="top" animation="off" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_icon_font_size="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

  • Self-Identity
  • Social Justice
  • Roots
  • “My Story”

[/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_blurb admin_label="Intersection" title="Module 2: Intersections" url_new_window="off" use_icon="on" font_icon="%%304%%" icon_color="#168794" use_circle="on" circle_color="#ffffff" use_circle_border="on" circle_border_color="#8300e9" icon_placement="top" animation="off" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_icon_font_size="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

  • Understanding Gender
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Communication
  • Dating

[/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_blurb admin_label="Exploration" title="Module 3: Explorations" url_new_window="off" use_icon="on" font_icon="%%289%%" icon_color="#168794" use_circle="on" circle_color="#ffffff" use_circle_border="on" circle_border_color="#8300e9" icon_placement="top" animation="off" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_icon_font_size="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

  • What breaks your heart?
  • Voice
  • Expression
  • Community

[/et_pb_blurb][et_pb_blurb admin_label="Opportunity" title="Module 4: Opportunity, Structure, Mentor" url_new_window="off" use_icon="on" font_icon="%%254%%" icon_color="#168794" use_circle="on" circle_color="#ffffff" use_circle_border="on" circle_border_color="#8300e9" icon_placement="top" animation="off" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_icon_font_size="off" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

  • Sense of belonging
  • Path Through Higher Education
  • Balance
  • Mindfulness Practices

[/et_pb_blurb][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

What happens when you put young women leaders in a room for twelve weeks?

Well, you begin to uncover the details of how stories intertwine, ebb and flow, and collectively culminate power that shines through. Past the anger and the struggle of every day. You see the beauty that illuminates the commitment to not give up and walk a path of uncertainty, but one that needs to be walked.Each one of the 7 young African women has a story to tell and have gone to their growth-edge to make sure that they are heard and not silenced. Each one of them has taken time to critically think and engage in their own level of vulnerability to write a piece of their own story to share hoping that it will create change in the way we react, act, and engage in the SLC community.The learnings that came from this course is meant to be intimate and proactive. We encourage you to come wanting to engage in the experiences of these young women knowing that you will learn from them. We thank you in advance for taking the time and sitting with us, as we tell OUR stories.

Who were the Participants?

In total ten young women participated in the program. They came from two different schools and their age range was 15-18yrs. The recruitment of the program was done through word-of-mouth. Though the program sought to have a more diverse group in school/culture/background/life-story — there was limited time to do adequate recruitment. Each of the recruited young women came into the program with their own set of skills and perspectives. The young women proved to be outstanding group to work with. All women were of African families, some were born in the U.S., and all have the ability to talk about the refugee experience, though many of the young women do not self -identify as refugees.*Note: The program flexed with involvement of initial participants, by the end of the 12 weeks, 3 participants had left, but the program gained one new participant later into the program. Seven women participated in their end-of-program event: We as Women all as Women: Shining light on our stories, creating new narrative, listen to our voices.

Educational Component

All the educational material and lessons were built to dissect four themes in the 12 weeks. Those 4 themes can be seen above in MODULES. All educational material was presented with social justice in the forefront of the classroom. All educational material was pulled from previous knowledge of the facilitator; activities, workshops; websites such as: Teaching Tolerance, and books on education and identity.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_testimonial admin_label="Ruth" author="Ruth Arevalo" url_new_window="off" portrait_url="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/13147703_10153537858797967_2952787285045343053_o.jpg" quote_icon="on" use_background_color="on" background_color="rgba(224,182,92,0.42)" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]Why am I here? Where do I fit into this story? Well…My story and body starts at a confluence of blood that historically and phenotypically were determined by hierarchy and power to not match. This means as I grew I was placed in ambuigity and confusion of where I fit in this world.This… Exacerbated by the death of those who brought me into this world. I laid on the floor as a small child looking into the sky while I felt the whole world falling around me breathing in and out….[/et_pb_testimonial][et_pb_text admin_label="Text2" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Identity

The aspects of uncovering the layers of identity were fundamental to programming. Exploring the aspects of our identities that put forth contingencies because society has given us a label.Understanding privilege and our own privilege/or not being able to access certain privileges and how that is wrapped into our identities and how to healthily navigate spaces with this knowledge was prioritized.

Safety and Cohesion

Safe and inclusive space, the importance of feeling safe is dire to creating space for communication, growth, and developmentCreating flexibility and space for all to talk, be heard, and to be ok with tensions or disagreements. We understood that conflict is part of growth and conflict resolution allows cohesion and respect between group members.

Communication

The base of communication that was set up was implemented with intentional time given to build trust. Weekly check-ins at meetings with active listening and feedback along with outside meeting check-ins once a month by phone to continue to develop rapport and depth to the relationship between participant and facilitator.It was monumental to give and provide space for all feelings, thoughts, and actions to be heard, discussed, and validated.Some of the women had a stronger presence, confidence, and base of knowledge to put to their voice, as some were still growing into how they desire to best express themselves and communicate with others.All participants began to engage in what it meant to have courage to stand up for themselves and also gaining comfort in what it meant to ask for help. Most importantly we continued the conversation of how important voice is for women of color.All participants were expected to work together and use their communication skills to work through frustrations and uncertainty to create a public event at the end of the 12 weeks.The event “We as Women All as Women” show cased the importance of story and provided space for each of the young women to capture one characteristic important to them and use spoken word to express it with a critical and profound lens. The open dialogue that was led by the young women at the end of their performance was to engage the public to ask questions about the importance of why their stories should be heard and why they are using their voices to express the changes they want to see from the perspective of being young African women living in the United States in this very pivotal moment in history.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_testimonial admin_label="Saida" author="Saida" url_new_window="off" portrait_url="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Saida.jpg" quote_icon="on" use_background_color="on" background_color="rgba(189,143,232,0.62)" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]At the beginning of the 12 weeks I spent with Ruth and the other 8 girls I was very skeptical of what I was getting myself into. Would I be just wasting my time in a boring club listening to people with monochromatic voices talking about challenges women face? I knew all the challenges women face, I face them every single day of my life. Why did I need to talk about it over and over again? I decided to give the group the benefit of the doubt and just go to one meeting. If I didn’t like it I would just stop coming, it was going to be a piece of cake. I would walk in share a few sad stories, listen to people share a few of their sad stories, and I would be out the door. Boy, was I wrong.As soon as I opened the doors of the building where the meetings were held a strange feeling hit me. This feeling was of comfort and understanding. I knew from that moment that this wasn’t just a club where we would sit talking about our feelings. It was a club where we would take ACTION about our feelings. The other 8 girls and I sat down at the table nervous about what was to come. We didn’t know that this 12 weeks program would make us a family.“When I think of this group I think of one word, Diverse. Not only in that we come from different countries around the world, but also that we all have different opinions and outlooks on the world,” said Naima Dahir a group member.This 12 week journey was a pathway to more knowledge for us girls. We learned more than we have ever learned anywhere, including school.“Topics that were covered where, Identity, including the complexities and intersections of identity/ies. The importance of telling your story. What it looks like to advocate for yourself and intervene when you see or are in the situation of injustice.  We talked about racialized and gendered language as well as aspects of healthy relationships and communication,” said Ruth Arevalo the facilitator of the group.At the end of the program us girls organized and held our own get together. We shared stories, poems, dances, and what everyone loved most, the food. The idea behind the event was to have an open conversation of what we all learned together. It was an event that brought women of color together to  showcase our progress and have a good time. For many of the girls in the group they didn’t have a lot of space to talk about what they go through on a daily basis. This helped open up the discussion.“I feel that our message to our audience was fulfilled. And that individuals left our event that night inspired, ready to make moves, transformed and most importantly label free,” said Heba Geiang a group member.  I am very glad I took the risk and joined this group. It was one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever gone through. Everyday you can make decision that will change your life. Sometimes you hesitate. I am glad my hesitation lasting for only a second, and I dove right in to pave the way to my future life.Learning about Slope in Math class, Literary Devices in English, and Mitochondria in Science are all very important. But none of those topics will establish the foundation of who we are. Identity, Stories, Relationships, and Communication are what makes us human. We are different people than when we started 12 weeks ago, and we have all changed for the better.[/et_pb_testimonial][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Episode 4: August ’16 Refugee Podcast with Chantelle from Congo

[et_pb_section admin_label="section" transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" custom_padding="11px|0px|57px|0px" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" disabled="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="9px|0px|9px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off" border_color="#ffffff"]Today we visit with Chantelle whose infectious positivity will infect you with hope for a better tomorrow. Chantelle is an inspirational mother, one who is constantly striving to better herself to ensure her children have all of the advantages that she never had.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="42.75px|0px|35px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Subscribe on iTunes" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]Women of the World’s refugee podcast is a place where ‘our ladies’ can share their stories and aspirations and where we can highlight activities important to refugees and service providers in Salt Lake City, Utah and around the world.PodcastSubscribeButton[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_code admin_label="Libsyn" disabled="off"]<iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4663447/height/90/width/640/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/no-cache/true/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" height="90" width="640" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Episode 3: July ’16 Refugee Podcast with Elisabeth from Central African Republic

[et_pb_section admin_label="section" transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" custom_padding="11px|0px|57px|0px" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" disabled="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="9px|0px|9px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off" border_color="#ffffff"]Today we speak with Elisabeth from the Central African Republic about her life in CAR, her flight with her young children and her disabled mother and her arrival in Utah. In this interview we will hear about how Women of the World gave Elisabeth 110% by not stopping at just getting her a green card but also by getting her a job caring for her disabled mother and helping her find a more accessible apartment. Elisabeth shares her love for WoW and her desire to take her programs back to CAR and help women and girls there.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="42.75px|0px|35px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Subscribe on iTunes" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]Women of the World’s refugee podcast is a place where ‘our ladies’ can share their stories and aspirations and where we can highlight activities important to refugees and service providers in Salt Lake City, Utah and around the world.PodcastSubscribeButton[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_code admin_label="Libsyn" disabled="off"]<iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4554645/height/90/width/640/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/no-cache/true/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" height="90" width="640" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Episode 2: May ’16 Refugee Podcast with Diane from Burkina Faso

[et_pb_section admin_label="section" transparent_background="off" allow_player_pause="off" inner_shadow="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" custom_padding="11px|0px|57px|0px" padding_mobile="off" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" make_equal="off" use_custom_gutter="off" fullwidth="off" specialty="off" disabled="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="9px|0px|9px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off" border_color="#ffffff"]Women of the World’s Podcast for this month features Diane from Burkina Faso, one of the political asylee seekers that Women of the World assists. Diane is an amazing young woman, choosing her path against the pressure of family and culture, choosing to be happy even though she has suffered some very personal tragedies.Diane is extraordinarily courageous in this interview as she talks about her young life of political dissent where rape was used as a tactic of intimidation, overcoming the stigma of female genital cutting, and her current struggle to gain an education against the wishes of her father and tribal chief who is set on a more traditional life for her.Women of the World’s Podcast team also discusses the recent Mother’s Day celebration and some international press coverage we received on the Bold Global blog.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="off" custom_width_px="1080px" custom_width_percent="80%" use_custom_gutter="off" gutter_width="3" custom_padding="42.75px|0px|35px|0px" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="on" make_equal="off" column_padding_mobile="on" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="on" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="on" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="on" parallax_4="off" parallax_method_4="on" disabled="off"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Subscribe on iTunes" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]Women of the World’s refugee podcast is a place where ‘our ladies’ can share their stories and aspirations and where we can highlight activities important to refugees and service providers in Salt Lake City, Utah and around the world.PodcastSubscribeButton[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_code admin_label="Libsyn" disabled="off"]<iframe style="border: none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4405895/height/90/width/640/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/no-cache/true/render-playlist/no/custom-color/87A93A/" height="90" width="640" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Stepping Back From the Ledge As Sisters

“I want to kill myself. I don’t want to live anymore."

What horrors did this young mother from Congo experience for her to utter these words in front of her young children?

Mami is a late afternoon walk-in to Women of the World. She has cried through the day, her dark complexion stained with sadness. She is thin, her past sickens her. She is striking. Her kids are adorable, quiet, and well-behaved. They place their heads gently on the new blanket I give them from our donation closet.

If you cannot be compassionate with Mami, you aren’t capable of compassion.

Mami's friend, Pam, brought her to Women of the World. Pam has donated all of her time today. At dawn, Pam happened past the office. It is fortunate she did... more than fortunate, Women of the World is on an industrial street, we don’t get foot traffic. It was grace.

“Mami, I know you have suffered…"

Mami cut off Samira, the WoW Director. “You don’t know my story, no one knows."

“Mami, it is true. I don’t know. And you don’t know mine. Everyone has pain and feels their own hurt is more than what anyone has."

supporting the success of refugee women IMG_7616

Mami is not her name. It is a term of endearment that WoW service staff have picked up to call central-African women. Iraqis use momma. It’s like a Southerner woman's “hun” to another woman. The respect and love of cooing “Mami” began to settle her down.

“I want to get you some help. Give you the opportunity to see a counselor."

Mami was violently raped in Congo. The beautiful kids with her are not her husband’s, they are the children of soldiers sent to rape and pillage. Refugees did not come to Utah for the American dream, they are fleeing a nightmare. Modern war is hell on earth, the most psychologically damaging sequence of events you can imagine, times thousands. You can’t imagine it, it is more horrific than your psyche will allow you to conjure.

"I don't want to go back to my resettlement agency. Not them. They don't help."

Refugees did not come to Utah for the American dream, they are fleeing a nightmare.

We get this from time to time. The resettlement agencies serve a lot more people, but they can't always spend the time needed to listen, empathize, and rebuild trust. Women of the World is different. We offer custom solutions, a boutique for cases more dynamic and difficult than the majority of refugee cases.

Women of the World offers a sisterhood.

Stepping Back From the Ledge As Sisters

"No I will get you someone to talk to at UHHR. They can help you. They will listen and give you advice to find a way to not be sad all the time."

The Utah Health and Human Rights organization is trained in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment and only serve refugees. Women of the World partners with them often.

"Can you trust me to help you?"

"Yes, I can. You are my sister."

"Yes. You can always find your sisters here.  Abby, Maya, and I and any of our volunteers we have help you are your sisters."

"I never have had family here..."

"Now you do, Mami. Now you do."

3rd Annual Refugee Fashion Show

Women of the World's 3rd Annual Refugee Fashion show was a resounding success!!!Women from all over the world modeled in this celebration of the beauty and courage of our new neighbors.  Burundi, Congolese, Burmese, Iranian, Iraqi, Nepalese, Ethiopian, Rwandan, Sudanese, and Afghani women graced the stage at Pierpont Place on Thursday evening in to show their native country's fashions.  A sample of the photos that were taken are on Women of the World's Flickr page on the album 3rd Annual Refugee Fashion ShowA sampling of some of the fashions on display include:

IMG_8765Burundi beautiful, smart, kind Sandrine wearing Burundi traditional dress “Imvutano.”  She would typically dress up in Imvutano for weddings and church. This type of clothes basically symbolize the respect and dignity of a Burundian lady.The top of this ensemble is sari-like, with the fabric draping over one shoulder, across the bodice and leaving the other shoulder bare.  

Another example, from Burma:

IMG_8713Smart, vibrant Mary Nei Mawi and Dawt Dawt, are from Chin State in Burma. They are wearing beautiful Chin Traditional clothing. They mainly wear this type of dress on special occasions such as Chin National Day, Christmas, New Year’s, and wedding ceremonies.   

All of the photos of this event on Flickr represent an important milestone in the journey of our refugee women neighbors and friends.  As Founder and President Samira Harnish states to introduce our models...

As you applaud each of them as they walk the catwalk, think about the steps they took before the ones you are seeing – running away from violence and oppression, scared and hoping only for a safe night’s sleep. Think about what they left behind -- a comfortable job, house, and their families – sometimes even their own sons and daughters.Their beauty comes not only from their features or clothing; but from their strength and amazing courage to find a better life here in Utah.

Women of the World is indebted to all of the volunteers, supporters, directors (and directors' spouses) that helped to make the 3rd Annual Refugee Fashion Show such a tremendous success.  Women of the World would especially like to thank the primary sponsors for the Fashion Show.

Thank you to the 2015 Fashion Show Sponsors

“sponsor “sponsor “sponsor

Please consider keeping the momentum of the 3rd Annual Fashion Show alive by giving a generous gift via our secured donation site.

Inside the Story KUTV news visits Women of the World

Founder and President of Women of the World was featured this evening on the KUTV program "Inside the Story" with Dan Rascon -- The Iraqi Samaritan.  The interview is an upbeat look at the sacrifices that Women of the World makes for refugees and the impact that WoW makes -- "one hug at a time."Samira and our new refugee neighbors' story is compellingly told in the TV story and in the article on the KUTV website.  While Women of the World has recently had some great press, Samira Harnish remains focused on the mission, "the important thing is that our Utah neighbors understand the struggles of refugee women and their families."   Women of the World is excited to get back to what we do best, the service of refugee women in the programs that help them achieve "their human rights, self-reliance, a voice in the community, and economic empowerment."  We are working with over three hundred refugee women and their families and are grateful for all of the support that is developed by the increasing interest in our mission and the wonderful, courageous women that we serve. The Trailer Video on Facebook by Dan Rascon is also a very exciting lead-in to what Women of the World is and the efforts that a day in the life require in order to succeed in service.  If you are compelled by this story, please consider contributing your time or other resources to Women of the World.

WoW Holiday Celebration featured by local news

After the 4th annual celebration featuring the role models in the refugee community was complete, the WoW Holiday Celebration was featured by the local news.  This celebration highlights the successes and dreams of refugee women in Utah and while showing the organizational capacity of Women of the World for continually recruiting and resourcing the best volunteer talent and opportunities for Utah's refugee women.See these links for the newspaper coverage of the celebration:http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865617691/Nonprofit-group-honors-Utahs-women-of-the-world.htmlhttp://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/Pages/gallery.csp?cid=1944696&pid=2057018At the celebration, Women of the World recognized:supporting refugee success at the holiday celebrationMs. Manal N. & Siham M. for gaining their citizenship:

America is one of the few countries started on an ideal, the ideal that everyone is created equal and through hard work and imagination you can succeed. Your citizenship is not the end of your path but a beginning, a ticket to opportunity. Naturalized citizens are more aggressive in achieving the American dream and today you join this class of success. However, America also needs you to blend your culture into the melting pot, retaining the best characteristics of both.

 Ms. Ghassak J. for achievement:

The children of our community will always remember their teachers for being confident in their success and giving them the tools to achieve their dreams. Your support of our children to transition into the lifestyle and language of America, along with your patience to their special needs and concerns is both strengthening our community and building a foundation for the future.

Ms. Alaa A. for achievement:

The continuation of your education upon resettlement is made more important in that it continues your expertise in improving enterprise and affairs amongst nations. The more we understand about our similarities and our shared needs, the greater our ability to avoid conflict over resources and settle disputes reasonably, breeding peace in the world.

supporting the success of refugee womenMs. Elisabeth N. for achievement:

Your continued struggles for your family’s well-being have paid off and now you have reached your goal – you have a safe new home and you are working in the service of your family and your community. We are thrilled that you are starting to volunteer alongside those in Women of the World that have helped you – paying forward the kindness you have received.

Ms. Sara A. for achievement:

When people are motivated and hard-working, it shows people around them what is possible and helps them become better. Mentoring others is difficult but fills you with grace and hope. Your commitment to your dreams through preparation at Banking for Women and starting a catering business will pay off for you and your family; your service in the community will help the community grown stronger.

Supporting refugee women holiday celebration volunteersFurthermore, community partners including Ikea and the Salt Lake County were recognized for their continued support of Women of the World and the Annual Holiday Celebration.  It is on the strong support of community organizations like Ikea and the Salt Lake County that Women of the World is able to serve refugee women and keep them on a path toward their self-sufficiency. 

Giving Tuesday in support of refugee self-reliance

Women of the World has been spreading the word about how amazing Utah has been in support of refugee women's self-reliance -- see the below spot on Comcast Newsmakers that went international on CNN Headline News.More support is always needed.  Women of the World knows that your holiday dollars are stretched thin, but for just $20 you can ensure that a refugee family can celebrate in the holiday season along with its community.  For just the price of a night at the movies, you can help a refugee mother give the warmth of the season to her family.  Just by knowing that her community is there for her -- her self-reliance is bolstered.Consider using Giving Tuesday in support of refugee self-reliance.Giving Tuesday in support of refugee self-relianceBelow is a more detailed account of what is possible when Women of the World is utilized to support women refugees no longer supported by intake agencies and who want to excel.

It was 11pm when I received a call from one of the ladies from the Congo.  She was crying but conveyed with her broken English mixed with French that she had lost her wallet on the bus.  She was so frustrated because her green card and her ID was in it. I had to calm her down, told her that tomorrow morning I would go and apply for new green card and ID.This woman is a survivor of war, oppression, poverty and rape, she is a single mother of three and a grandmother, all of whom depend on her for support. Her mother is paralyzed and she also needs a lot of help.The government supports her with food stamps but she only receives cash assistance if she works for 8 hours a day. She leaves her house from 7am-7pm to babysit for another family from Africa.  Of course no one takes care of her mother when she is gone to work.  As a result of losing her green card, she lost her opportunity to get a handicap accessible apartment (she was living in a basement with many stairs and she has to carry her mother upstairs to take her to doctor appointments).I got her a green card without her paying $460 fine, and I looked for legal places that can pay her to take care of her mother until I found one in an unknown program at Salt Lake County.Now she and her family are very happy and self-reliant because she is taking care of her mother, moved to accessible apartment, got her drivers license, and is learning English.  She is graduating WoW this December!

 

Women of the World travels to Africa

Talibe Boys in Saint-Louis SenegalThis past month, I traveled and stayed for my first time in the third world. My wife and I visiting my stepdaughter, a Peace Corp volunteer, in Senegal.It was an amazing, soulful trip into the unknown.Independent of the reading or meditating I did in preparation, there was nothing that could prepare me for such a trip into a culture so unknown to me.I figured I'd just roll with it, that I would understand in retrospect what I could, but that my short two week time in Africa would have no answers, just pose more questions.  I figured that my body wouldn't relax, my brain wouldn't grapple with any great problems or learn a history I didn't already know, but that I would challenge my spirit and come to appreciate what fortunes have determined my life.While I haven't had a lot of things given to me, the chance of birth to a middle-class American mother and father gave me opportunities beyond what the same middle-class upbringing offers the rest of the world.  A middle-class rural lifestyle in Senegal challenges parents to cloth and feed the youth and there is little in the way of preparation for adulthood.  Most of the young boys that my stepdaughter works with are from exactly this type of upbringing, their parents doing the one thing that is available to them to try and overcome the poverty of their lives, they send them to Koranic schools in the cities, it is here they become talibe (an Arabic word meaning disciple).  Some of the schools are harsh in disciplining the boys and enforce high begging quotas in order to support the school, others allow the boys to govern themselves and the begging requirements are for food.Talibes posing for picture in Saint Louis SenegalThe respect the boys have for one another and the way they look to my stepdaughter, a fluent Pulaar speaker, the native tongue of most of rural Senegal, for lovingkindness suggests that this system is not an abomination of poor parenting but the best the parents think they can do -- while at the same time it takes a bit of the child out of these boys every time they have to beg or answer to a religious leader that forces memorization and loyalty instead of free-thinking and love.To see the world as these boys see it, barefoot-talibe.com is the photo project being run by two Peace Corp volunteers with cameras donated by friends and family.  I know these kids will capture the heartbeat of Senegal, their perspective, like mine, is forever changed by the interplay of the complexities of the (often romanticized) "simple life."Justin Harnish is the Development Director for Women of the World and the Chief Strategist for Heroic Life Path where this article was originally published. 

First Annual Refugee Fashion Show

Fashion Show BowWomen of the World is proud to present the First Annual Refugee Fashion Show at the City and County Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This event showcased the various fashions of the women and men from both the Middle East and various regions throughout Africa.  Those at the event stood in awe and amazement at the beauty and elegance of the women's fashions and at the fortitude and grace of their presenters, the members of the Women of the World.African Women's FashionThis event was extremely satisfying for all involved.  For the models, this was one of the rare opportunities where they were made to feel beautiful while expressing their heritage.  You can see in the video that while at first this was an uncomfortable event for them, they quickly warmed to our grateful and enthusiastic crowd and felt the way they always should - whole, confident, and amazing.  Some of our models have quite the knack for it, showing sass, dignity, and bliss all in the same round.  By the end, no one wanted to go, each taking their deserved encores before rounding up their cameras and taking pictures with their friends and families.African Women's FashionsAs a member of the crowd of onlookers, I was immensely proud of each of the women who against the odds maintained their sense of style and a connection to their heritage.  Each of the women looked beautiful and showed it in their individual way, some through reserved tenacity, others through a professional sass in expression and motion that barely contained their inward glee at the opportunity to be themselves, and by this fact, be beautiful.  The crowd's shouts could be heard from Temple to Timpanogos Mountain as they celebrated their daughter's, their mother's, and their sister's delight.Women of the World would like to thank Visage Salon Studios for collecting donations to improve the Fashion Show and the mission of WoW.  Read the 21 July 2011 update in the Sugarhouse Journal.See the videos on our You Tube Channel and all of the pictures at our Picasa site!Middle Eastern FashionsQueen of Babylon