Global Gardens, our Boise-based program for farmers, is grateful to announce that Spirit Airlines has generously donated $20,000 toward our efforts!
The airlines presented the check to our team on Friday, Aug. 5, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the airline's first flight from Boise.
Funny story - we almost missed this amazing opportunity.
"I have a confession to make," said Rabiou Manzo, Global Gardens program manager (first picture above). "With all the spam calls we receive these days, when I first picked up Lanie’s call from Spirit Airlines, I thought for a minute that I had picked a spam call. I almost said, 'Thank you, but I’m busy right now.' I’m so grateful that I didn’t!"
This donation creates a win-win by helping farmers take their careers to the next level while giving the local community more access to fresh produce.
For almost 20 years Global Gardens has provided training and resources to refugee and immigrant farmers, allowing them to continue farming as they rebuild their lives here in the U.S. Several of our farmers grow ethnic produce from their home countries that otherwise wouldn’t be accessible to local buyers.
We currently have six farm sites and 16 farmers in the Global Gardens program. Land is generously leased at no charge by the City of Boise, Five Mile Church of the Nazarene, Blue Cross of Idaho, Healthwise, the Idaho Department of Correction, and a private Boise resident.
"It’s exciting to see Spirit Airlines come alongside our mission to build healthier communities and bring more opportunities to the farmers who grow our food locally," Rabiou said.
We're not the only ones benefitting. The Spirit Charitable Foundation has committed to give $1 million in 2022 toward helping children and their family members, service members, and the environment, according to Simple Flying. We're grateful to be among the recipients.
Join Our CSA
It's not too late to join the Global Garden's CSA program. Members of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) receive weekly produce from a Global Gardens farmer. It's the largest CSA program in the Treasure Valley!
Visit globalgardensboise.org before Aug. 21 coming days to sign up for the final six weeks of the growing season.
Calling Boise-area volunteers! The English Language Center is growing and could use your help on Mondays, Tuesdays and/or Wednesdays during the day. Classroom volunteers help with small group activities, one-on-one practice, and material preparation. The ELC serves adults who are newly resettled in Boise.
Sign up here!
Please join us in welcoming the English Language Center's newest team member, Judith Mwamba!
Judith started this month as a teaching assistant at the ELC in Boise. She brings a bright light to the center and has quickly built a good rapport with students.
Judith is new to Boise. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, she lived in Namibia for over 20 years. She has an associate degree in accounting and auditing.
Judith enjoys spending time helping people in various ways. Since arriving in Boise, she has interpreted for the International Rescue Committee and has volunteered with IOR's Global Talent program.
Judith's experiences as a refugee, with refugees, and with different language and cultural groups give her the strength, understanding and knowledge to assist others along their journey.
Eulalia Gallegos has joined the city of Boise as Language Access Program Manager.
Her role focuses on ensuring equal access to city services, activities, programs, and facilities for bilingual or multilingual people or those who prefer a language other than English.
Eulalia is in the process of developing a citywide plan to formalize language access and create an inclusive environment that fully embraces and centers the voices of Indigenous, im/migrant, and refugee communities.
Eulalia has lived in Southwest Idaho for most of her life. Her academic and career trajectory has focused on creating more accessible public institutions. She graduated from The College of Idaho with a bachelor's in biology and minors in political economy, Spanish, and journalism in 2017. She then pursued a master's in education with certification to teach secondary natural science and biology from the University of Idaho and graduated in 2019.
A fourth-year doctoral student at the University of Idaho, Eulalia's dissertation explores the experience of bi/multilingual Latino students and families in rural Southwest Idaho. She's excited about enhancing language access services for the City of Boise and working with communities to ensure all residents have meaningful access.
Global Talent, a career guidance program at the Idaho Office for Refugees, is thrilled to introduce new team member Arbay Mberwa.
Arbay is serving as a Global Talent intern for six weeks this summer. She will be organizing Global Talent's next Career Summit on Aug. 18.
This is a big endeavor, as it's been more than two years since the last summit due to the pandemic.
"We are so thankful to have Arbay on the team, and will benefit greatly from her leadership, vision, and organizational skills!" said Global Talent Project Manager Hannah Roche.
Arbay Mberwa was born in a small village in Kenya and was raised in Boise. She's going into her senior year at Boise State University majoring in urban studies and community development.
"I like to ride my longboard and go on walks in the park," she said. "Ready to learn new information with this internship and to organize the career summit."
Photo: Angie Smith
Thank you to everyone who made World Refugee Day so meaningful in Boise and Twin Falls last month! It was a time to honor and recognize the journey of refugees around the world, celebrate diverse cultures, and connect with each other. Fourteen New Americans were celebrated at a citizenship ceremony in Boise.
"It always brings tears to my eyes," Salome Mwangi, coordinator of the Refugee Speakers Bureau, told KIVI, "because it reminds me of when I became an American citizen and the implications of that legally, socially and personally."
Photo Gallery from the Times-News: Magic Valley Refugee Day Celebration
World Refugee Day-Boise photos below by Angie Smith of Stronger Shines the Light.
Welcome.US and its partners are launching the new Welcome Connect platform to connect U.S. sponsors with Ukrainians seeking refuge.
Matches made through Welcome Connect will help Ukrainians qualify for resettlement through the federal Uniting for Ukraine program, which requires a sponsorship in order to qualify.
Welcome Connect is a first-of-its-kind platform that can be adapted for future work related to private sponsorship for other refugee groups.
For more information for displaced Ukrainians and Idahoans who want to help, please visit our resource page.
Welcome.US is a national initiative founded to unite, inspire, and empower Americans to support those seeking refuge here, beginning with Afghan refugees evacuated to the United States after the fall of Kabul in August 2021.
The Idaho Office for Refugees supports our nation’s commitment to welcome refugees from Central and South America and reunite families who have been separated.
The U.S. is one of 20 countries endorsing the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. The declaration, adopted June 11 at the Summit of the Americas, brings a much-needed focus to the plight of people in the region who have had to flee their homes due to violence and instability. Many nations are working together to seek solutions and are committing to expand their asylum systems and address the root causes of displacement.
The United States is pledging to welcome 20,000 refugees from Central and South America in the next two years, a threefold increase nationally compared to projected arrivals for this year. The U.S. will also resume expedited family reunification for Cubans and Haitians, increase the number of seasonal worker visas, and expand resources for people displaced by the crisis in Venezuela.
We don't have specifics yet on how these efforts will impact resettlement in Idaho, but we stand ready and willing to do our part.
Refugees and immigrants play a crucial role in our economy, in our agricultural industries and in our communities, and we stand for clear, streamlined and humane pathways for all people seeking refuge.
Idaho has welcomed small numbers of refugees from Central and South America over the years, including nine people from Guatemala and four people from Honduras this year.
"Idaho is fortunate to have a strong cultural heritage from Latin America,” said Tara Wolfson, director of the Idaho Office for Refugees. "Our communities are enriched culturally and economically when we provide compassionate and efficient ways for people to have peace, stability and opportunity.”
We encourage leaders on the local, national and global scale to continue pushing for solutions, collaboration and dignified treatment of all people seeking refuge.
WORLD REFUGEE DAY & IMMIGRANT HERITAGE MONTH
People around the world are coming together this month to celebrate World Refugee Day and Immigrant Heritage Month.
As our partners at Episcopal Migration Ministries said so well: “World Refugee Day is an opportunity to highlight the journeys refugees face, their dreams and hopes for a better future, and our responsibility to advocate for pathways to protection for all people forced to flee home.
“We also celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, a celebration of the important contributions of immigrants from around the world.”
There are many ways to support refugee resettlement in Idaho that fit with your talents, interests and resources. You can tutor English students, mentor or sponsor a new family, attend events, support refugee-owned businesses, provide housing – the list goes on! Learn more at idahorefugees.org/get-involved.html.
Join Idaho World Refugee Day celebrations on Saturday, June 18, in Boise and Friday, June 24, in Twin Falls.
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager