February 20, 2024

Washington DC Team assists their local community through ESL, Art, Mental Health Awareness, and Advocating for Refugee Physicians

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Integral Integration Efforts

Our hearts are heavy due to the events and suffering in Israel and Palestine. We understand that any conflict leading to loss and displacement have long-term effects for individuals, families, and the community at large. We continue to work toward creating and advocating for better welcome in each of our own communities.

Our individual work directly assisting refugees is critical to our mission. To that end, join me in applauding two of our Washington DC team members:

  • Heather Oman who, in addition to her role as Associate Director at TSOS and a Washington DC community programs team member, recently accepted a position with Hampton Roads Refugee Relief as the ESL Coordinator. Language acquisition is integral to successful integration on every level, and we look forward to hearing more about what she is learning in that capacity.
  • Annie Gedicks art workshop with Afghan youth earlier this year has led to a continuing connection with Nova RAFT, a local grassroots org that helped resettle 300 Afghan families to Northern Virginia in 2021-2022 and continues to support those in the Alexandria, VA area with outreach and community needs. Two Afghan young women in their network recently produced their own documentary about their evacuation and resettlement and the TSOS production team assisted them to polish the film and interviewed the two creators. Once finished, we will be featuring these two incredible youth on an Instagram live to launch their documentary.

The process of integration is not a straight line and mental health needs are a often companion along the journey.

Caring for Mental Health Need

The process of integration is not a straight line and mental health needs are a often companion along the journey. Recently, Sherianne Schow and I interviewed a remarkable Afghan man, Sayed Matin Hussainy, who shared his personal mental health story. Sayed Matin was incredibly open about his challenges and how important seeking out professional help was to his recovery, something that is not a norm in some cultures - especially for men. Please share his story with someone who might benefit.

Advocating for Refugee Physicians

We are continuing our collaborative initiatives with the Refugee Physicians Advocacy Coalition. TSOS is partnering with the Georgetown School of Medicine, Nova Friends of Refugees, Upwardly Global, World Education Services, LSSNCA and other organizations to create career pathways for Refugee Physicians. TSOS will be conducting more interviews in the next month with Refugee Physicians to share their personal stories as we meet with Hospital Systems in the greater Washington DC area and in developing legislation with lawmakers and key decision makers. Currently we are supporting efforts to pass HB 995 in Virginia. A bill aimed to help refugee physicians get licensed in the US.

Other Posts

Voice Your Support for Afghan Adjustment

The Afghan Adjustment (AA) has been reintroduced in both the House (H.R.4627) and the Senate (S.2327) of the United States by a bipartisan group of legislators. We invite you to join us in honoring our promise to our Afghan allies by urging your representatives to pass the Afghan Adjustment!

December 6, 2023

Bilingual Representation in Somali Immigrant Communities Strengthens Bonds and Increases Understanding

What would you do if there were no books readily available in your language? Although Somali is the second most spoken language among students in the Seattle Public School system, books in the Somali language have been hard to come by. That is, until Farhiya Mohamed, founder and director of the Seattle-based Somali Family Safety Task Force, had a brilliant idea—to make her own books in the Somali language.

May 24, 2023

Uniting for Ukraine: U.S. Sponsors Needed

Just as citizens in Europe and the U.K. have heroically supported displaced Ukrainians by opening up their homes or securing other housing, assisting with school enrollments, employment needs, and language learning, Americans now have the opportunity via the Sponsor Circles program to directly help newly arrived Ukrainians. The United States has committed to welcoming 100,000 Ukrainians temporarily for a period of two-years and the ability to apply for employment authorization in the U.S. as long as they have a U.S.-based sponsor to petition for them.

January 31, 2023
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