stories of refugee courage

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]

Modeling Our World - 2017 Fashion Show Fundraiser

[et_pb_section background_image="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/ModelingOurWorld-2.png" transparent_background="off" background_color="#ffffff" 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" custom_padding="6px|0px|24px|0px" 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" custom_padding="10px|0px|3px|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="center" admin_label="Name and description" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off" saved_tabs="all"]

Want to attend?

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_button button_url="https://womenofworld.org/fashion17tickets/" url_new_window="off" button_text="Buy Tickets" button_alignment="center" background_layout="light" admin_label="Button" custom_button="on" button_text_size="20" button_text_color="#191348" button_border_width="1" button_border_color="#191348" button_letter_spacing="0" button_font="Open Sans||||" button_use_icon="off" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_text_color_hover="#ffffff" button_bg_color_hover="#4a4383" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" disabled="off" saved_tabs="all"] [/et_pb_button][/et_pb_column][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="center" admin_label="Name and description" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off" saved_tabs="all"]

Can't be at the show?

 

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_button button_url="https://womenofworld.org/donate/" url_new_window="off" button_text="Donate" button_alignment="center" background_layout="light" admin_label="Button" custom_button="on" button_text_size="20" button_text_color="#191348" button_border_width="1" button_border_color="#191348" button_letter_spacing="0" button_font="Open Sans||||" button_use_icon="off" button_icon_placement="right" button_on_hover="on" button_text_color_hover="#ffffff" button_bg_color_hover="#4a4383" button_letter_spacing_hover="0" disabled="off" saved_tabs="all"] [/et_pb_button][/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||10px|" 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"]6[/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"]

Events
Fashion Show
Society

[/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"]"If we understood one another, we would get along better." Sage advice -- especially coming from an elderly woman in traditional Nepali clothing -- and it serves as the reason for why we conduct the Fashion Show each year.[/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"]This year's theme is "Modeling the World." From the standpoint of the event, this theme is straight-forward, women and girls will model traditional clothing from countries as different as Nepal, Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somali, and Burma. However, I prefer to think that we are modeling the world we want, the one we are building with each service appointment, each new job or college graduate... a world where our humanity walks together with these courageous ladies.[/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="50px||9px|" 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/Fashion15.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" 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"]2015 Fashion Show[/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"] [/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||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"]The Fashion Show is the centerpiece of International Women's Day in Salt Lake City. This year it is on the 9th of March at the Leonardo Museum starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $40 per person and thanks to our generous sponsors, all proceeds will be able to go to our refugee service and capacity building programs.In addition to the beautiful traditional fashions, Women of the World clients that have started their own catering businesses serve ethnic food. We bring a foodie experience a la Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" to downtown Salt Lake City that alone is worth the price of admission.[/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="11px|||" 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"]" I prefer to think that we are modeling the world we want... a world where our humanity walks together with these courageous ladies"[/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||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="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"]The community has developed a special place in their hearts for the courageous women that get on stage during the Fashion Show. It's easy to see why. These women have such pride in their heritage and note the authentic interest of their new neighbors in Utah. This sense of a cultural blending magnifies the warmth experienced by everyone involved.[/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="50px|||" 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="1_2" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-4.jpg" alt="Modeling our world as Fashion Show 16" title_text="Modeling our world as Fashion Show 16" 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_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-2.jpg" alt="Modeling our world as Fashion Show 16" title_text="Modeling our world as Fashion Show 16" 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" custom_margin="34px|||" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2" disabled="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-3.jpg" alt="Modeling our world as Fashion Show 16" title_text="Modeling our world as Fashion Show 16" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" 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_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/Fashion16-1.jpg" alt="Modeling our world as Fashion Show 16" title_text="Modeling our world as Fashion Show 16" 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" custom_margin="34px|||" 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|||" 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_image src="https://womenofworld.org/wp-content/uploads/SaveTheDate_2017-rd.jpg" alt="Save The Date" title_text="Save The Date" show_in_lightbox="on" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="off" admin_label="Image" max_width_last_edited="on|phone" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" custom_margin="36px||0px|" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="3000px" admin_label="Text" text_font="PT Serif||on||" text_font_size="16" text_text_color="#363636" text_line_height="1.1em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" custom_margin="16px||0px|" disabled="off"]Click on the above image to see more details from our 'Save the Date' flier[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" max_width="300px" 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"]Flier designed by Tiffany Bloomquist Designs & Marketing[/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"]

There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved. Corporate and individual sponsorships are still available. Women of the World loves to connect local small-business and corporate leadership with the community close to Women of the World: women and men who support local businesses that have strong community relationships.

Finally, we encourage those of you who might be going to your first Fashion Show to grab a friend, get your tickets, and spread the word on social media that you are attending. While you are on social media, check out some of the other interesting things that WoW is doing. We hope you'll agree that the world we are modeling is one that exemplifies the best interests of all humanity.

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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.

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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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The Many Meanings of Hijab

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"]When asked why she wears hijab, Baidaa is quick to answer."I wear it because I like to.”The twenty-something woman smiles as she demonstrates how to wrap her hijab. She first puts her hair up into a bun, pulls what looks like a tube hat over her hair, then drapes her scarf around her head and pins it so it flows gracefully around her face and neck. She exudes beauty and confidence as she turns her head from side to side, the scarf falling lightly on her shoulders.Baidaa, her mother Iman, and her aunt Wafaa — Iraqi refugees living in Salt Lake — wear hijab, but for different reasons.Iman began wearing hijab when her family fled to Jordan. “I didn’t wear it before (we left Iraq),” explains Iman. “But we lived outside the city when we came to Jordan. Many of the women were farmers, and they wore hijab for (mostly) cultural reasons. Since it was part of my religion, I decided I would wear it, too.”Young Salt Lake City refugees in their colorful hijabsHijab is the Arabic word for “cover. It’s often used generically to describe a range of headscarves or cloaks worn by Muslim women to show their devotion to God or support their cultural identity. While the Quran instructs both men and women to dress modestly, women are specifically encouraged to cover their bodies in a manner that protects their modesty and prevents harassment. Muslims in different countries interpret these instructions differently, which is why you may see Muslim women wearing everything from hijabs that only cover the head and neck to burquas that cover all but a fine mesh across the eyes.Most girls begin to wear hijab when they reach puberty, but Baidaa waited until she was 22.“At my school in Jordan, many of the girls wore hijab and asked me why I didn’t,” Baidaa says. “These same girls would take off their hijabs and go to the mall in dresses that showed their bodies. I didn’t want to be associated with girls like that.  They would shame me for not wearing hijab, then behave like that.”When Baidaa chose — and she is very clear that it was a choice — to wear hijab, it was to show her respect for God and her religion.  She and her aunts agreed that women shouldn’t be forced to wear hijab, that they should choose to wear it.“The Quran doesn’t specifically say that women have to wear hijab,” explains Samira Harnish, executive director of Women of the World.  “I am a good Muslim woman, and I chose to not wear hijab. Of course, all women, Muslim or not, must cover their heads when they are in shrines out of respect. But I believe I can be a good Muslim whether or not I wear hijab.”Hijabs can be black, but they also come in bright colors or adorned with jewels.While some countries such as Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan require Muslim women to wear black chadors or burquas that cover most, if not all, of their bodies, other countries offer Muslim women more choices. One look at the hijabs available in online stores makes it clear that they don’t have to be plain OR boring.  All three women laughed as they described “Dubai style” hijabs, covered in glittering beads and oversized jewels on turban-like headwraps.But the talk turned serious when the women began discussing the harassment that can happen to women who choose to wear hijab in the U.S. After enduring unspeakable hardships to escape the war and destruction in their native land, some female refugees find unexpected comfort in veiling. Beyond the religious significance, hijab can offer a feeling of privacy and a sense of identity. Unfortunately, in these charged times, it can also draw unwanted attention or even hostility.“The people I work with will come up to me and tell me how beautiful I look in my hijab,” says Baidaa. “But I have a friend who works as a cashier who had a customer say, “I don’t want to go to you because you wear hijab, I will wait for another cashier.”There are other stories: a Somali woman who was spat on for wearing hijab, two Syrian children whose elementary-school teacher yanked off their headscarves and told them not to return until they could come without their veils.Are Baidaa, Iman, and Wafaa afraid to wear hijab, knowing this?“We don’t go out much,” says Iman. But Wafaa adds, “I am not worried because God will save me. I won’t stop wearing hijab.”Fear can blind people into thinking that a simple headscarf symbolizes violence. Iman hopes that people will move past that fear and understand that refugees aren’t here to cause trouble, they are simply trying to live their lives the best they can. “I wish everything is going to be peace and happiness and for people to love people. Bad things happened in our country.  We started from zero here, and we have come here to build our future.”IMG_4587“We wish the country, like the day we enter America, will be peaceful and secure.”[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

KBYU Community Connections Invites WoW Founder to Discuss Refugee Celebration

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"]In the coming weeks, Women of the World will be featured on KBYU's (Channel 11 locally) Community Connections program. Founder and Executive Director, Samira Harnish, speaks about the needs of the female refugee population, the programs and successes of Women of the World, and the upcoming event entitled the 6th Annual Celebration of Refugee Women's Success. Below is KBYU's YouTube Channel interview with Samira Harnish.Women of the World is proud of both our ladies and of our community. It is the mark of a strong community that can see the humanity in helping those that have struggled against violence, genocide, oppression, and poverty to achieve success and a voice in our society. Our ladies and our community leaders have been courageous, innovative, and mindful of one another's unique skills and opportunities... in our Annual Celebration we recognize this mutual loving-kindness.Our Annual Celebration of Refugee Success presents the refugee women that have had success in rearing their families, securing gainful employment, starting their education, or starting a business to their peers as a potentiality, as a light of hope. This celebration recognizes the significant efforts of our volunteers to befriend and better both themselves and our ladies, rising to the challenge of becoming the better angels of our nature, the change we want to see in the world.Please join us on 3 December at 2pm at the Salt Lake County South Building Atrium (2100 S. State St. in Salt Lake City). There will be ethnic music and food after Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski presents the awards to our ladies and our volunteers and addresses our friends gathered. [/et_pb_text][/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]

Stories of Courage - Elisabeth Ngaba

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text"]Elisabeth was born in Central African Republic. She arrived in Salt Lake City with her three children and her paralyzed mother escaping war, oppression, and poverty. She came here in search of a better and more fulfilling life for her children only to be led into what seemed like another vicious cycle of oppression.Without knowing her legal rights as a woman, English, and the local laws, this better life that she risked everything for seemed to be failing her. Through courage, determination, and the support Women of the World was able to provide for her, Elisabeth did not give up. Quite the opposite, actually.Elisabeth now has a full-time job as a caregiver for her dear mother. She has an apartment full of happy children, practices English multiple times a week, and studies enthusiastically for the United States citizenship test. Her strong, compassionate personality and beautiful smile never fade. She is caring, humble, and always ready for a good laugh. On the few occasions when I need to remind Elisabeth about Saturday morning English class she always replies on the phone, “I’m coming I’m coming I just need to get ready!” I always wait with anticipation to see the beautiful outfit that Elisabeth puts on even just for a Saturday morning English class.Through continued hardships and tragic news she keeps on learning, studying, and making the best of each situation.[/et_pb_text][/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]

Episode 1: April ’16 Refugee Podcast Premiere

[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="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/4345502/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_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"]In this month’s episode of the Women of the World Podcast, we cover1. Women Mormon Conference

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference gave direction to its followers to serve refugees through local organizations. On their new webpage http://iwasastranger.lds.org they give inspiration and scripture for their commitment to refugees. Our new webpage, womenofworld.org/getinvolved/iwasastranger/ answers some of the question from the lds.org website and steps through our volunteering process. With your help, refugees will be strangers no more.

2. Founder Samira Harnish Awarded Ruby Award for Excellence in Women’s Advocacy

3. Stepping Back From the Ledge As Sisters
4. Peace and Justice Conference
5. Monthly Story of Refugee Success
  • Beautiful inside & out. Originally from Morocco, Layla just a graduate of dental assisting studies. I have no doubt that Layla will get a great job working with patients to make their smiles that much brighter. https://womenofworld.org/layla/

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Stories of Courage - Zaina Kaboi

“Thank you mama.” If you ever have the pleasure of interacting with Zaina you are sure to hear this phrase multiple times. Zaina is from Congo and came to Salt Lake City 5 years ago as a widow.When I first met Zaina she immediately embraced me, a complete stranger. Even though she can only mutter a few words in English her loving personality and optimistic presence speak loudly. Upon first meeting her I noticed that she could barely walk due to a complication with a surgery she had on her knee a few years ago. “Bad knee bad knee,” was all the information I could get but I knew that her bad knee was severely limiting her. She spent the days at home, alone, and in a lot of pain. With the help of Globus Relief, Samira and I were able to purchase a “rollater” (a type of walker with a seat attached to it) for Zaina. This simple gift was enough to give Zaina a sense of purpose again.Right as I finished assembling it for her a wide smile stretched across her face as she loudly said, “good good!” Zaina is now able to leave her house, walk to English class, and stroll to my office to “meet” with me even if that just means to merely sit down and smile. It is obvious the determination she has each Saturday as she attends our Practical English Program.Through her bashful laughs and beautiful smile it is easy to see her happiness shine through as she continues to learn for the sake of learning. She never complains and eagerly accepted my invitation to take her picture—she loves the camera.

Stories of Courage - Mu Say

When I first called Mu Say to ask if I could write a short story about her and take her picture, she answered me quietly and in almost perfect English, “I am sorry but can you repeat that? I don’t speak English.” I knew right at that moment she was being overly modest.Mu Say was born in Burma but spent 18 years at a refugee camp in Thailand, where her son was born. Mu Say arrived in Utah on a snowy day in March. “It was so cold and so much snow! In my country there is no snow.”She explained that it was difficult for her when she first arrived in Salt Lake City. Her family was the only Karen Burmese in town and she didn’t speak any English. In fact she was illiterate in her native language. She remembers one day being asked to write her name. “I didn’t even know how to write my own name,” she told me in a good-humored tone as her timid smile stretched across her soft-featured face.I didn’t know Mu Say when she arrived in Utah years ago, but the woman I know today is incredibly successful and very humble. She became a US citizen and proudly goes to school every single day to practice her English and other studies. She is respectful, helpful, and now has a great community here in Salt Lake. When I asked her about her community she said quietly and bashfully, “Oh… community? I am sorry I don’t know what that means.” After explaining the concept to her she smiled and replied, “Oh yeah. I have a big community!” She has a gentle but at the same time incredibly strong presence.

Stories of Courage - Kaltum Mohammad

A spice for life! When I first met Kaltum I remember being amazed at how passionate she was about spices, flavors, and all things cooking. I also remember how willing she was to share her delightful dishes with everyone! She knows how to take charge and make the most out of every situation. Her lively energy and determination will take her far, not only in the restaurant industry, but also in life.

Stories of Courage - Chantal Munyamanzi

Genuine strength. Chantal is an incredibly strong single woman of two beautiful daughters. Even through the most difficult of times her positive attitude prevails. She always acts according to her morals and is never looking for the easy way out.As her great smile indicates, she is also always up for a good laugh. She is incredibly hardworking and therefore has created a great life for her daughters and for herself.She knows the value of education and hopes to go back to school for nursing.