our Program Manager, who has been our Leading Outreach Worker, is now running the daily operations of RefugeeNet. Originally from Sudan, she joined RefugeeNet in 2013. Her leadership and dedication to serving fellow refugees uniquely qualifies her to provide us insightful guidance.
is a family outreach worker to the Burmese refugee community and works closely with Nadia Agory. Hilda spent 20 years in the Karen refugee camp in Thailand before coming to the U.S. A. a few months ago. She is an outreach workers are currently funded by a grant from the Ely Lily Foundation. As well as English Hilda speaks Karen and Thai.
Nadia Agory is the lead family outreach
case-worker and makes home
visits to ensure that newly-arrived families have their basic housing
and food needs met. For longer-established families she seeks out problem areas such as: no food for the children during the fourth week of the month, the need to arrange for medical and other personal visits for women and children, and provides social and management counseling for family members. She is the “detector” for problems that have not surfaced. As well as English Nadia speaks Arabic and two Sudanese languages.
Board Member Elaine McLevie with former volunteer, board member, and staff member Marilyn Nahas. Marilyn made great contributions to the programs of RefugeeNet. Marilyn passed away in November 2015.
A vital element of the work of The Episcopal Refugee Network is the devoted service of many volunteers.
More than 50 volunteers work in the two tutoring programs where students learn individually and in small groups. The children differ widely in their reading level and ages and we have found that they need small group attention.
New arrivals are placed in middle school and high school grades where they cannot understand their teacher,
cannot understand their text-book and are unable to do their homework assignments. The Sudanese program
has run long enough for us to see the hugely beneficial impact that volunteers have on their school progress.
We know that without these programs many of our young people would play truant and drop out because of their failure to “make it” in regular school classrooms. ESL programs have limited effect as they tend to be geared to Hispanic-speaking children.
There are rarely teachers in their classrooms who can lead them from their native Arabic, Burmese, Karen or Chin languages to English at 8 the grade level or higher.
We have several times found our Sudanese children in classrooms trying to understand their mathematics as it is being described in Spanish!
Volunteers are also the backbone of the collection of clothing and household goods and furniture and of its subsequent distribution. Weekly food supplies from the Food Bank and from The Gleaners is collected and distributed by volunteers. The heart and soul of this Network lies with these volunteers, ably coordinated and supported by our staff members. Volunteers report their hours monthly and the Network has averaged over 800 volunteer hours offered each month for the last year.