USCRI Wins the 2010 North Carolina Peace Prize for Helping Refugees Build New Lives in North Carolina
Each year, the North Carolina Peace Corps Association (NCPCA) recognizes a non-profit organization in the Tar-Heel state that best promotes peace and cross-cultural understanding and shares the "helping others help themselves" philosophy of the Peace Corps.
"We are deeply honored to receive the North Carolina Peace Prize," said USCRI North Carolina Director, Shirley Thoms. "We feel a kinship with NCPCA and many of the Peace Corps' goals mirror our work here in the Triangle," Thoms explained.
"The Peace Prize recognizes the hard work of USCRI North Carolina's volunteers and staff members who help refugees build new lives in freedom in the Triangle Area," Thoms added. "Without the ongoing support of our network of volunteers and community supporters who are invested in USCRI North Carolina and refugees, our work would be impossible. We share this award with all of them."
USCRI North Carolina's staff and volunteers help refugees in variety of ways so that they can quickly become self-supporting members of our community. This includes helping refugee families settle into their first apartment by collecting gently used home furnishings, clothing, and other necessities. It also means helping newcomers navigate the transportation system, learn English, and find a job. Moreover, our team helps refugees overcome the past trauma so many have suffered and feel embraced by their new community.
USCRI North Carolina has helped more than 800 refugees who have fled violence and persecution in places like Burma, Cuba, Somalia, Sudan, Vietnam, and other war-torn regions around the world.
Our team works hard to help refugees understand and become comfortable with American culture. Refugees, in turn, provide our community with the opportunity to learn about other cultures and be enriched by their traditions. It is work that changes the lives of everyone involved with the resettlement process.
This year's Peace Prize ceremony was held at Page-Walker History and Arts Center. In additional to receiving the Peace Prize's hand-thrown Seagrove vase from Stephen Kelly, Diplomat in residence at Duke University, and Myron Fountain, NCPCA President, USCRI North Carolina was also awarded a cash prize of $1,000.
USCRI North Carolina joins past Peace Prize honorees such as The Center for Participatory Change, Source Fource, Nourish International, El Centro Hispano, and Friends of the Glenwood Library.
Read more stories about refugees and immigrants resettled in the United States >>