The Weekly Round-Up
The Weekly Round-Up
Welcome to The Briefing newsletter by Jason Clarke and Will Maddox. This week, we look at Jewish leaders working to welcome refugees, how a Pittsburg program is making refugees feel at home, a Syrian refugee Olympian’s move to be a UN goodwill ambassador, and increased compassion toward British refugees. The Briefing is a collaboration between Seek the Peace and We Welcome Refugees.
As the United States’ refugee resettlement program continues to dwindle, protests are popping up all over the country, emphasizing how the country’s wealth and values don’t align with its policies toward refugees. Others are doing more than just protest. The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a group originally created to assist Jews fleeing Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries, hosted interfaith meetings in North Carolina for refugee leaders to better serve and advocate for refugees in this country.
Hello Neighbor, a program for refugees and neighbors, matches up local families in Pittsburg with others new to the country to aid the transition to life in America. They explore the city together, and often become more than just a guide to the city and life in the United States. The program has matched 50 families so far with refugees from 7 different countries.
Yusra Mardini became the star of the refugee Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 after winning her heat in the butterfly, and is now the youngest ever goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Her life story, which includes an escape from her native Syria that involved pushing a boat through the Aegean Sea, will be the subject of a new movie, “Butterfly.”
Despite the UK’s increasingly stringent policies toward refugees, a new poll shows that the population is warming toward refugee and immigrants. The annual Aurora Humanitarian Index public opinion survey shows that more than half of Britons feel refugees deserve more support, and 38 percent feel regretful that the government is not doing more, up 11 percent from last year.