January’s DF Gathering featured a presentation on refugee
services in Houston by Amaanah Refugee Services, an organization whose
mission is to integrate resettled refugees into their new homes and
communities. Amaanah focuses on supporting women and children who have
arrived in Houston and Austin through the US Government’s refugee
resettlement process. Formal support from the US Government ends 3-6
months after the refugee arrives; Amaanah picks up support beyond that
time. Susan Breidenich, Community Relations Associate, and Braden
Darville, Transformed Manager, talked about Amaanah’s services:
- The Transformed program
serves to acclimate single mothers during a 10-month period after
federal assistance expires.
- Awesome Academy is an
in-school and after-school service done in partnership with local
school districts that provides individualized academic and social
support to refugee children in elementary and middle school.
- Home Transformation is a
1-day home renovation/beatification project to provide the refugee
family a wonderful surprise and boost.
These programs are making a real difference in the lives
of refugees who find themselves relocated to Texas.
Ghadah Bayati, Transformed Specialist at Amaanah, shared
her own refugee experience. Ghadah and her three children arrived in
Houston in 2008 as Iraqi refugees via the refugee resettlement process
after her husband was executed for his political beliefs. The
challenges Ghadah’s overcame were incredible, but with Amaanah’s help,
she learned English, became employed and established a home in Houston.
She has been able to fulfill her dream of educating her children to help
them onto a promising future. Today, Ghadah is giving back by helping
other refugees integrate into Houston.
Amaanah has opportunities for individuals and small groups
to work directly with refugees to help improve their lives. If you
are interested in learning more or understanding volunteer opportunities,
please visit Amaanah’s website, https://refugeelink.com/,
or contact Susan Breidenich at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our next Gathering is February 5th – we really need
everyone to attend! We will be taking the first step toward
updating our DF Vision. We need your input to help answer key
questions like: What’s important to Family members? What hurdles do
we need overcome? Where do we want to be in five years?
Carmen Armistead will be our facilitator – the meeting will be
interesting, engaging and with your participation, very productive!
Special thanks to those who helped make January a great