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RISE Program Lifts Massachusetts Refugees to Independence
Submitted by Meredith Lee on Wed, 02/08/2012 - 19:11
An innovative new program is underway in Massachusetts to enhance employability for refugees facing multiple challenges to self-sufficiency. RISE (Refugee Independence through Service Enhancement), will focus services for single refugee mothers; refugee women with low/no literacy; refugees with medical conditions; and refugees with social and psychological issues. RISE is a program of the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants (ORI) http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/ori/.
Part of the program's uniqueness is the vital role of volunteers, built on the expertise gained by the Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program (TU-RAP), a volunteer program developed by students from Tufts’ Fletcher School of International Affairs. A new cadre of volunteers from universities throughout Massachusetts as well as churches and professional organizations will be recruited, trained and matched with RISE clients to provide tutoring, counseling, life-skills orientation, and other forms of personal guidance to address the difficult challenges they face on the road to employment and financial independence in the U.S.
RISE is funded by a grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/) which encourages innovative strategies that give the most vulnerable refugees a strong foundation for independence. RISE holds great promise as a cost-effective model that unites volunteer support and program expertise to achieve positive outcomes for refugees.
Please read the full article by Emel Hadzipasic, ORI director of development and planning, in Commonwealth Conversations: http://hhs.blog.state.ma.us/blog/2012/01/helping-massachusetts-refugees-rise-toward-independence.html
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