Wausau, Wisconsin — On January 19, a Congolese family arrived at the Wausau Central from a refugee camp in Zambia, Africa. The family, consisting of a couple and their four children, lived in a refugee camp for decades. All of the four children were born in the camp. The oldest is 12.
ECDC’s Wisconsin branch office, the Multicultural Community Center, celebrated its 1st Anniversary, and its parent organization, the ECDC based in Arlington, also kicked off its commemorative year for its 40th year of operations at an event held in Wausau on January 19th.
To increase its capacity to resettle more refugees in the coming years without overwhelming saturated resettlement sites, ECDC will expand its operations to five new locations this year.
We are celebrating one year since ECDC launched co-sponsorship programs at ten sites across our network. Hear what this program entails and the benefits it offers from both newcomers and co-sponsors in their own words.
Over glasses of Chai tea, Gul Rahman shared the story of his family’s arrival to the US and their journey with their co-sponsorship team in Brattleboro, Vermont. Gul Rahman, his wife Sakina, and their two sons and daughter first arrived during the winter and it was scary because they couldn’t speak English.
Refugee Integration in Virginia is a project supported by Virginia Humanities designed to inspire through storytelling to capture refugees and community members’ experiences in building community together and showcase the two-way process of integration.
Nabil didn’t know what to expect when he first arrived in central Wisconsin. He and his wife Amina had just navigated through a flight transfer at Chicago O’Hare alone, with their two young daughters in tow. The family certainly didn’t expect to be greeted at the tiny Wisconsin airport by a group of volunteers as well as refugee resettlement staff.
Wausau Schools has been a strong partner with ECDC since the planning stage before its branch office was opened in Wausau, Wisconsin, in November 2021. Wausau Schools produced this video which showcases how much thought and care fellow students and the school community have put into ensuring new students feel included and supported to be happy and successful.
Seyar worked in communications in Kabul, helping U.S. government troops, its allies, the Afghan government, and the general Afghan population with internet and phone services. Despite the danger to himself (as he could be targeted due to his collaboration with the U.S. government forces) he continued to do his job to the best of his ability until the Afghan government fell and a truck bomb hit the building he was working in and many of his coworkers lost their lives.
A congregation in Wausau, Wis., formed a co-sponsorship team and completed local co-sponsorship training in late January. Immediately after training, they were matched with a newly arriving Afghan family. Prior to the family’s arrival one problem the local staff faced preparing to receive the family was housing.