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Links and resources

Hand in Hand Café

A Guide for starting and operating a refugee restaurant experience

Hand-in-Hand Cafe offered a traditional Middle Eastern menu to our community at large, cooked by refugee women from Iraq and Syria. This guide tells our story. LexRAP would be thrilled to help your group get started! Watch this wonderful video about Hand in Hand Cafe.

LexRAP Family Leads’ Resource Guide

A handbook of methods and best practices for welcoming recently arrived refugees in to a local community, based on a distillation of LexRAP’s experiences working in this field over the past several years. It’s our hope that others will use this Guide as a basis for their organizations’ work with new arrivals. LexRAP gratefully acknowledges the support of the Community Endowment of Lexington for financial assistance in producing the Handbook.

Thinking about how you can help but you aren't near by?

Get in touch and we will be happy to share our best practices and potentially be a coach to help you form a new group in your area to help refugees.

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR)

The UNHCR was established in response to a 1951 treaty on refugees.

From their website “We work to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home. Since 1950, we have faced muliple crises on multiple continents, and provided vital assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced and stateless people, many of whom have nobody left to turn to. We help to save lives and build better futures for millions forced from home.” Their website has statistics on the international landscape of refugees and asylum seekers.

Major Federally Approved Refugee Resettlement Agencies in Massachusetts

Ascentria Care Alliance

Ascentria Care Alliance is a member of Lutheran Services in America (LSA), the national umbrella network of Lutheran social ministries that together comprise one of the nation’s largest charities. The agency goals: To break the cycle of poverty and build thriving communities where everyone has the chance to achieve their full potential, regardless of background or disadvantage.  Their Unaccompanied Minor Program provides unaccompanied refugee youth with financial support and comprehensive services to assist in their resettlement and adjustment to their new culture, provide for them while they pursue educational goals, and prepare them for eventual independence. Services are tailored to the needs of refugee youth, blending their cultural identity with their new American environment. The refugee youths receive the same child welfare benefits and services as other foster children in the state of Massachusetts. This is the only program for unaccompanied minor refugees in Massachusetts.  Offices in Worcester, Brocton, West Springfield, and Waltham.

International Institute of New England (IINE)

IINE’s mission is to create opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pathways to citizenship.  Offices in Boston, Lowell, and Manchester, NH.

Catholic Charities Boston

Catholic Charities  Upon arriving in Boston, individuals face daunting linguistic, economic, cultural, and legal challenges. We help arrivals integrate into society by offering support and guidance as they adjust to their new surroundings and become active participants in their communities. The newcomers are provided with a modest apartment furnished with basic necessities; and assisted with acculturation, job placement services and English language training. Along with this critical assistance, refugees receive compassion, understanding and positive reassurance from our staff to help in the attainment of independence and self-sufficiency. Hubs in Dorchester, Lynn, Brockton, Lowell, and South Boston, and many other locations delivering our programs, Catholic Charities Boston is here to support children and families across the region.

Commonwealth Agencies or State-wide Organizations

Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project

PAIR provides the premiere free legal services to asylum seekers in Massachusetts.  It provides free legal services to asylum seekers and promotes the rights of detained immigrants. PAIR’s Pro Bono Asylum Program is a leading volunteer program in Massachusetts to recruit, mentor and train attorneys from private law firms to represent, without charge, indigent asylum seekers who have fled their countries after suffering from unimaginable harm. . The goal of the program is to secure safety for every client who has tried to exercise freedoms that we may take for granted. PAIR has recruited, trained and mentored over 3,000 volunteer attorneys to represent asylum seekers and detained immigrants. We provide free asylum intake services. Follow this link to make an appointment.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Immigrants and Refugees

ORI’s mission is to promote the full participation of refugees and immigrants as self-sufficient individuals and families in the economic, social, and civic life of Massachusetts.

MIRA: Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Coalition

MIRA is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of

immigrants and refugees. MIRA Coalition’s mission is to convene, serve, and organize together with our members, community leaders, and allies for the advancement of all immigrants across the Commonwealth and beyond. MIRA Coalition places immigrant and refugee voices at the forefront to advocate for the well-being of our communities.

Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinic

HLS Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Clinic, in partnership with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), has sought to advance immigrants’ rights. Law students take the lead in representing low-income immigrants who are fighting deportation and seeking asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection in the United States. Students utilize a range of legal tools on behalf of their clients, including direct representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community outreach. The Clinic’s team is interdisciplinary.  A full-time licensed clinical social worker and social work interns work closely with clinical students, staff, faculty, and clients to ensure the Clinic’s approach is holistic and trauma-sensitive. Students are either placed at HLS or at GBLS, Boston’s oldest legal services organization. 

De Novo Center for Justice and Healing

De Novo provides client-driven integrated legal and mental health services to overcome the impacts of poverty, inequity, and trauma. De Novo provides legal help in the areas of housing and homelessness prevention, family law/domestic violence, immigration law, and disability benefits, as well as a full range of mental health services and case management to help clients cope with the emotional impact of trauma. De Novo provides many of its services through the efforts of over 120 volunteer attorneys, clinical social workers, psychologists, paralegals, interpreters, student interns and other professionals.

Rian Immigrant Center

Rian (formerly the Irish International Immigration Center) assist eligible immigrants in becoming U.S. citizens, guiding them throughout the application process and representing those with complex cases. They have expert legal staff and pro bono attorneys offer free legal consultations to immigrants, refugees, and asylees, and provide full case representation before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Project Citizenship

Project Citizenship helps eligible immigrants apply for citizenship! To maximize our impact, we utilize volunteers and pro bono attorneys to staff citizenship workshops to help groups of hopeful citizens complete their applications.

Health Resources

Boston Center for  Refugee Health and Human Rights (BCRHHR)

BCRHHR is a key program of the BMC Immigrant & Refugee Health Center (IRHC), a cross-departmental Center at BMC that provides one central place through which BMC’s immigrant and refugee patients can get connected with the physical, mental and social services they need to heal and thrive.

Cambridge Health Alliance

Immigration Resources provides health clinics and resources to aid for refugees, asylees, and other immigrants.

The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Immigrant Health

The interdisciplinary MGH Center for Immigrant Health (CIH) fosters excellence in clinical care, education, advocacy and research to improve the health and wellbeing of immigrants, across all departments and clinical sites at MGH and within the broader community. The Center’s programming serves the needs of both immigrant patients and staff.

Other Resources

HIAS – A Jewish Response to the Refugee Crisis

HIAS works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. For more than 130 years, HIAS has been helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.

Household Goods

Household Goods in Acton – provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home. With a letter from a social worker or a partner organization, furniture and the complete necessities are available at no cost.

Mission of Deeds

Mission of Deeds in Reading – provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home. With a letter from a social worker or a partner organization, furniture and the complete necessities are available at no cost. They also have winter coats and books.

Dignity in Asylum (DIAS)

Dignity in Asylum is a Concord based community organization whose mission is to provide safe transitional housing and support for asylum seekers, refugees, people who have been granted asylum and unaccompanied minors at risk of homelessness.

English Idioms

What is an idiom?
Explainer video by Grace and Savannah of Winchester High School.

Idioms in Use
Video created by Elena and students from the Lexington High School Refugee Alliance.

An excellent 30 minute podcast describing the history of and definition of asylum system in the United States. Listen below

Sites for English Language Learners (ELL) and ELL instructors

Six websites that ELL instructors may find helpful to supplement other materials that they may be using. Click here to see the list.
There are three different levels. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. For example, at the Intermediate level – There are current articles available under Health and Lifestyle, Science and Technology, and Arts and Culture. Each article is printed on the web page and an audio recording is available to listen to as you read along. Great opportunities for vocabulary, speaking, and grammar.
This website has a wealth of handouts for tutors. These are multiple choice  exercises. On this page you select the topic you want to focus on. Once you select a specific quiz, select the tab ‘printable worksheet’. Then ‘print this page’. All the worksheets are available by selecting the corresponding quiz.
This website has hundreds of worksheets for beginner through intermediate levels. Click the down arrow next to ‘Popular Resources’ and ‘Other Topics’ on the left. This expands to include many topics to explore. There is a link for a PDF of each exercise. Please note there are many other skill areas covered on this website.
This website is good for a variety of interests and it has three levels covering vocabulary, speaking, and listening(but British accent on audios). It also has some condensed books that Both my learners really enjoyed.
This website is especially good for reading skills. Although it covers a wide range of English skills, I think the reading section is the best.
Good for reading, but British accent on audios.

OXFAM's I Hear You

Minnie Driver, Margot Robbie, John Cho, and other artists lend their voices to tell the real life stories of some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees.

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