November/December 2021 Newsletter

  Meeting the needs of Asylum Seekers within a Supportive Community in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont 

New Arrivals

A new guest joined us this month, a young woman from Benin who recently came to the US with her husband seeking asylum. After her arrival, she learned that she was pregnant; her baby is due in March. Because of her pregnancy, she was released on humanitarian parole and made her way to a shelter in Burlington. A local group notified NEKASAN of her arrival and the need for a sponsor and host.  We quickly found a sponsor and home for her in Lyndonville with someone who is also willing to sponsor the husband.  We are trying to get him released from detention so that he can rejoin his wife up here. When he arrives, NEKASAN will provide legal, medical, and material support for him and secure housing for the family so they can all live together.  We are expecting another new guest, a young man from Togo, who is currently in detention but likely to be granted asylum and be released soon.  A Danville family who are already hosting another guest have offered to house the new arrival. We are thrilled to welcome them to our community.

Recent Developments

Michelle Rutman, NEKASAN’s president since its formation in 2019, will be stepping down on January 1. In addition to overseeing the establishment and operation of the organization, she has taken on numerous other roles:  for example, creating and maintaining our website, establishing contacts with local and national organizations, publicizing our work, soliciting funds, managing crises, and much, much more. Fortunately, she has agreed to remain on the board and continue working with us.  Our vice president, Libby Hillhouse, has agreed to fill the role of acting president until we find a replacement. Long term board member Omar Johnson has taken on the vice president’s position and will also help with IT.

Current Guests

Our guest in Danville passed the written test for his CDL license and will take the road test in December. In the meanwhile, he continues with his landscaping job and his humanitarian work on behalf of orphans and single mothers in his home country. Our guest in St. Johnsbury is now living in his own apartment and awaiting his work permit. Our third guest just returned to Louisville, Kentucky, where he had lived before, with his fiancé and newborn son.  He has applied for a job at Amazon. NEKASAN had a going away party for the family at which our guest, a professional chef, prepared most of the food.

Guest with New Baby

Givng Tuesday

Please consider making a contribution to our Giving Tuesday campaign to help us continue to support asylum seekers in our community. Please visit our website where you can explore volunteer opportunities, learn more about us, contact us with your questions, and donate online at any time. Thank you all for your continued interest and support.