Feb 2022
The Refugee Crisis and LexRAP updates
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We have been quiet with our news lately but there is a lot of news.  Before that, a look at the refugee crisis world-wide:
* Source UNHCR

These numbers are staggering.  It is easy to be overwhelmed and feel that one person or a small group of people can’t do anything to help.  Remember that each of these numbers is a person. Helping one person does make a difference. LexRAP is involved in the lives of 81 refugees, each has his or her individual story.  We are a 100% volunteer organization. LexRAP extends a hand and tries not to let the world-wide numbers blind us to offering the help we can.
All of our news is good!  

With several recent sizable donations, LexRAP has been able to extend grants and no interest loans to folks seeking to retrain:
  • A woman who first took pre-requisite courses, then entered UMass nursing program, and should complete her RN this year.
  • A father of two, who has been working several jobs, started an HVAC certification program.
  • A nanny is attending community college, taking courses to become an office worker.
  • A young woman and new mother who arrived 3 ½ years ago with no English completed the pre-requisite courses for an ultrasound tech program with all As!
  • A woman started an entry level job at a pharmaceutical company and is now in a masters program in Regulatory Affairs – with financial help from the company - no monies from LexRAP!
These immigrants, They get the job done! (from the musical Hamilton)

And news on our families:
  • Two young women from Afghanistan joined the LexRAP “tribe” in December.  The younger one’s Afghan university had a relationship with a college in the Northeast and she is now a full time, full scholarship student, living on campus.  The older one became quickly engaged: exploring graduate programs; taking part in art classes, yoga, twice a week ESL; while looking for jobs.  Both have started a weekly Zoom with a LexRAP leader and a young Syrian mother because they want to “speak English without an accent like an American!”.  What inspirations they all are!
  • An Iraqi family is reunified after five years of the father trying to get the mother and children to the US.  Violence, government bureaucracy and then COVID greatly hindered this effort.
  • We have several new US citizens!  When a parent becomes a citizen, the children automatically become citizens.  Not only is this a huge achievement for folks who come here with no English or understanding of our government, it offers protection and opens further job opportunities to the parents and their children.
  • Another family unification happened when an asylum seeker’s children arrived.  An absence of many years melted away immediately upon arrival and the kids were quickly welcomed into the schools in Waltham.
  • An asylum seeker architect, who had a job as a draftsmen three weeks after being granted the right to work and asylum (happened at the same time), has now completed his degree in architecture with distinction.
  • A doctor from Egypt who got a fellowship at Duke is on his way to being licensed to practice medicine in the US.


International Institute of New England (IINE) resettles refugees in Lowell, Manchester and elsewhere in N.E. and offers on-going services such as ESL and support. A lot going on!  Suitcase Stories, Annual Gala and more.

Catholic Charities has been providing services to refugees for more than 100 years.

Ascentria resettles refugees and is the only agency that resettles unaccompanied minors in New England.

De Novo (formerly called CLSACC) provides free civil legal assistance and affordable psychological counseling for people with low incomes. ASYLUM: Immigrants who have fled their home country because of past persecution or fear of persecution because of race, religion, gender, nationality, social group or political views may be eligible to apply for asylum. De Novo has free walk in legal clinic where people can talk to immigration lawyers on the 3rd Wednesday from 5:15 to 7:15PM.

Mission of Deeds provides beds, furniture, and household essentials free of charge for people in need. Accepts donations of household goods and financial.

Household Goods provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home. Staffed by volunteers, depends on the generosity of community members for goods, time and financial support. Please support us so that together we can continue to help people make a home during their time of greatest need.

Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project provides free legal services to asylum seekers and promotes the rights of detained immigrants.

Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC), in partnership with Greater Boston Legal Services has focused on direct representation of individuals applying for U.S. asylum and related protections.

Jewish Vocational Services (JVS Boston) supports members of the refugee community to develop English language skills and training with help to find employment and build careers, while partnering with employers.

NuDaySyria focuses on women and children and brings humanitarian aid inside Syria and to displaced Syrians in the bordering areas around Syria.

Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM) One of the few organizations to provide support to asylum seekers.  Volunteer opportunities for mentors and ESL teachers.

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LexRAP · 10 Grant Place · Lexington, MA 02420 · USA

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