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Asylum Seeker

NEKASAN Meeting and March/April Newsletter

 March 11, 2021

By  Omar Johnson

Overview

Over the last few months, we have been working on policies to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for our present and future guests, to provide hosts and sponsors with the support and resources they need, and to strengthen our financial base so that we might welcome more asylum seekers. We have also begun seeking partnerships with local institutions that support our mission.

Meetings

We have been holding Zoom meetings on the third Monday of each month to explore issues related to our work. These meetings are open to all volunteers and anyone who is interested.

Our next meeting on March 15th will feature a guest presenter from the Asylum Seekers Support Program (ASSP) who will focus on the need for sponsors and hosts and the vetting process.  We will also have a panel of NEKASAN hosts and sponsors who will share their experiences, and we’ll discuss the roles of sponsors and hosts and the supports NEKASAN provides.

Anyone interested in learning more about what sponsoring and hosting entails and exploring the possibility of becoming a sponsor or host for an asylum seeker in our community is particularly encouraged to come.

The zoom link for the meeting on March 15th from 7:00-8:30pm is
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86030151850?pwd=RERRdXNnWnRNeFZKbWw3VGNxaTdoZz09
Meeting ID: 860 3015 1850 Passcode: 450343
 
Update on Our Guests

Our guest in Danville just passed his driving test and can now commute to his job in St. J on his own. He’s in the process of acquiring a car from one of our board members and is now focused on his next goal of saving money to buy a house.

Our second guest in St. J is enrolled in a medical course at CCV. Several board members are helping him with his studies. He is working on getting a driver’s license and work authorization. He just got his learner’s permit.

Our third guest, unfortunately, was involved in a car accident out of state and is rehabilitating at home. Several board members are advocating for him to get the services he will need for a full recovery.

Meeting Our Goals

We are continuing to refine and implement our major goals for the coming year. As we mentioned in the last newsletter, we want to support more guests in our area, including women and families, especially those who were separated at the border. To accomplish this goal, we are focusing on getting a stable and dependable income stream.

Our fundraising efforts during 2020 yielded a bit over $17,000 in donations. One of our main fundraising goals is to increase the number of monthly donors so that we can confidently say we have broad community support. Our fundraising goal last year was $15,000. We’d like to bring in $40,000 in 2021 and expand the number of people we serve. And, we are pleased to announce we are already nearly half-way to our goal.

Please be thinking about how you’d like to support us this year. Look for our fundraising letter on March 25 with more details about our goals, hopes and dreams.
 
Needs

Host Families and Sponsors:  We rely on you, members of our community, for help right now. In addition to needing new and continuing donors, particularly those able to donate on a monthly basis, we need to identify new hosts and sponsors for future guests. Join us on March 15th to learn more about what sponsorship and hosting involve.

Social activities: With the arrival of warmer weather and, hopefully, a lessening of the Covid restrictions, we will be looking for volunteers to help out with recreational and social activities of all kinds. Invite one of our guests over for dinner? Take them to a ball game? Watch a movie? Go for a bike ride? The possibilities are limitless.

Affordable rental housing: Some of our guests will prefer to live in their own space. Please let us know If you have or know of an apartment that may be available. We’ll let you know when donations of clothing and household supplies are needed for current and future guests. We’d be grateful for your help.

As always, our website nekasan.org is available for you to learn more about us, donate online, explore volunteer opportunities, and contact us with your questions. Our Resources page is growing and we’ve added a few posts from one of our guests who writes of his native Uganda.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Omar Johnson


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