USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

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USCRI Detroit Newsletter

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Feature Stories:

Celebrating World Refugee Day with Neighbors New and Old


June 17 was a day of fun, food, and festivities.  Refugee families, volunteers, staff, and other community members—both young and old—converged on Veterans Park in Warren, MI to commemorate the struggles and honor the accomplishments of refugees in light of World Refugee Day (officially on June 20).  This year is extra special for us at USCRI: It marks our organization’s100th anniversary. 

“Meeting with refugees and listening to their stories during World Refugee Day’s celebration gave me a great opportunity to better understand how people just like all of us become refugees,” said USCRI Detroit Director, Tawfik Alazem.  “It’s extremely tough to flee destruction of your life in one place and try to rebuild it in another.  It really takes courage to be a refugee.”

The event was a success! A number of mouth-watering specialties were provided for the 75 or more attendees.  There was something for every taste... Read more >> 

Albanian Volunteer: "I Know What It Means to Start Over in Another Country"

All too often, men, women, and children around the world are forced to flee from war and persecution on a moment’s notice, leaving behind their homes, their countries, their lives.  Spending years in refugee camps, their only chance to rebuild their lives is by being resettled in another country, such as the United States.

Detroit is one of many cities across the country that welcomes refugees.  As soon as they arrive, refugees face an enormous task: to become self-sufficient, contributing members of their new community.

“I am familiar with everything refugees have to go through every step of the way,” said Enkela Belishta, 38, a volunteer at the USCRI Detroit Field Office.  Enkela handles the filing, copying, organizing, and other behind-the-scenes work essential in making the refugee resettlement process a success.  Thanks to six months of preparing the pre-arrival paperwork for refugees coming to the area, she knows the resettlement process inside and out.

But there is another reason why Enkela is so familiar with what newcomers to this country have to go through: first-hand experience... Read more >> 

Help refugees build a new life in the Detroit area >>

Similar stories:

Together at Last: Iraqi Refugee Reunites with Family >>
Dearborn: Home Away from Home for Iraqi Refugees >>
Read more about USCRI Detroit’s resettlement program >>

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