January/February 2023 Newsletter

Thank You!
With deep gratitude, we say THANK YOU to all who generously responded to our Annual Appeal and to all who have supported us during the year with your monthly gifts. Your generosity makes it possible for us to continue supporting our guests and think about expanding our efforts. 

What We Are Doing
With some thoughtful planning we have created a budget that includes new line items for expenditures such as transportation and education. We budget to pay for job training classes for those guests who are waiting for their work permit and social security numbers. We are grateful for the support work of the Community College of Vermont and the Adult Learning Program for providing such opportunities! Many of our guests are working hard to improve their English Language skills and learning quickly. 

We have established relationships with a number of local entities, including St J Dental, Umbrella, Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV), Northern Counties Health Care, and NVRH. Catamount Arts and Kingdom County Productions donate free tickets to our guests; most of them enjoyed a magical evening with the Soweto Gospel Choir in December. A professional French translator has joined our team, helping us prepare documents and facilitate conversations.

We are now supporting 6 asylum seekers in our area, continuing to provide legal services to one of our guests currently living out of state, and assisting a migrant family from the Ivory Coast. This French-speaking family, a father and three children, arrived here a few weeks ago and don’t yet have asylum seeker status. The oldest son now attends St Johnsbury Academy; the two younger children are in the St J School. A team of local organizations, including ours, came together to get this family situated.

Our newest guest, from Djibouti, arrived here last month. He had been living in a shelter in New York City, which was undergoing major construction, and is currently staying with a host family in Lyndonville. He will be with us until he receives his work permit, unless our quiet way of life convinces him to stay! He was studying medicine in his home country, is interested in a career in public health, and hopes to pursue his studies while here with us. He speaks several languages, including his native language, Chinese, Arabic, and English. He is a delightful young man. He just got his learner’s permit and is practicing driving
with some of our volunteers.

The father of our family from Benin has graduated from his HVAC (heating and air-conditioning) course and is fully certified. Thanks to translation and tutoring help from our volunteers, he passed with flying colors! When his work permit arrives, he will be able to begin an apprenticeship, leading to steady, well-paid employment.

Through our partnership with Maple Center Motors, NEKASAN was able to purchase a good used car that the family is currently using. Mama is now on her way to taking her driving test in preparation getting her work permit and a job. 
Imane, approving of her parents with wheels and work permits
What we need
– Volunteers to have fun with 3-French-speaking children ages 6 to 16 playing, meeting new friends, practicing English, enjoying the Museum, and giving papa a break!
– Volunteers to meet our other guests and help them enjoy the delights of winter in Vermont: skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, concerts, movies.
– Help with finding housing.
– Consider hosting or sponsoring a guest.
– Volunteers to help with fundraising, transportation, grocery shopping, etc.
– Tax-deductible donations, one-time or recurring.

Please visit our website,, where you can donate online, explore volunteer opportunities, learn more about us, and contact us with your questions. 

Thank you for your interest in our work.