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With low wages and few workers, NH home care system has ‘gone off the cliff'

Borja Alvarez de Toledo says the home care workers he employs "perform miracles," when they do the dressing, bathing and light housework that allows elderly adults, who are eligible for nursing home care, to continue to seek personal care services at home.

And yet, these workers are paid $13.50 an hour and are never eligible for benefits, said Alvarez de Toledo, CEO of Waypoint, a nonprofit agency that provides different social services throughout New Hampshire. The low wages and lack of benefits make it extremely difficult to find employees willing to provide this essential service.

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Recent News and Blog Stories

WES is joined by more than 165 organizations urging Congress to pass the Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act

World Education Services - March 24, 2022

Dear Members of Congress,

On behalf of more than 165 organizations, higher education institutions, and municipalities we write to express our support for the Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act. This bipartisan legislation calls upon the United States Department of Labor (DOL) to study the factors that impact the employment opportunities of immigrants and refugees who hold international credentials and to issue recommendations for reform.

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Preparing to welcome Ukrainian refugees in the commonwealth

WBUR - Tiziana Dearing and Franziska Monahan - March 9, 2022

It’s been less than two weeks since Russia began its violent invasion of Ukraine. In that time, as many as 2.2 million people — women and children mostly — have fled the country, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

The UN is calling it the fastest-growing refugee crisis on the continent since the Second World War. The Biden Administration has stated that the U.S. is prepared to take in refugees from Ukraine and has granted temporary protections to Ukrainians already in the US. But they haven't yet authorized new arrivals of refugees from Ukraine.

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Community organizations continue efforts to welcome refugees to the area

Sentinel Source - Molly Bolan - March 8, 2022

Six months after tens of thousands of Afghans fled their home country amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the Taliban’s takeover, some are beginning to put roots down in the Monadnock Region, with community volunteers collaborating to help ease the transition. Read more

Worcester stands ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees; but US has yet to classify Ukraine as refugee nation

By Kiernan Dunlop at MassLive - March 2, 2022

Worcester’s support for Ukraine was evident Tuesday as its anthem played at a city council meeting while its yellow and blue flag waved outside, but the city is limited in the support it can offer Ukrainians fleeing war. Read more

Rebuilding a life: The first months of resettling Afghan refugees in New Hampshire

Concord Monitor- By AMANDA GOKEE - February 22, 2022

When Safiya Wazir arrived in New Hampshire 15 years ago, she was fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan. Although her circumstances were different than those of the new Afghan evacuees now resettling in the state, there are some similarities in their experiences. Wazir knows the trauma of war, the difficult task of adjusting to a new language and culture, and what it’s like to rebuild a life from scratch.

She now serves as a state representative and works with the new Afghan arrivals through her job at Ascentria, one of the state’s resettlement agencies. One of her goals is to help people understand what new refugees are facing as they start over in New Hampshire.

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Our Turn: Welcoming Communities

Concord Monitor - Crissie Ferrara and Henry Harris - January 20, 2022

In the middle of the worst pandemic in a century, communities around the country are welcoming at least 70,000 Afghans to the United States. Our organizations, Ascentria Care Alliance and the International Institute of New England (IINE), expect to resettle more than 200 Afghans in the Granite State by the middle of February, nearly three times as many refugees as New Hampshire welcomed in all of last year.

The experiences of Afghan evacuees are a sobering reminder of the trauma refugees face when fleeing their home countries. In their evacuations, Afghans in our services left everything behind — homes, personal possessions, friends and family. They worry about loved ones living in a nation that is quickly becoming the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis.

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Afghan refugee family's new home in Portsmouth prepared with love by volunteers

Seacoast online: Ian Lenahan, Portsmouth Herald - January 17, 2022

PORTSMOUTH — Two fuzzy stuffed animals — a monkey with a red cap and a dog — sit nuzzled together in a box inside the two-story rectory beside Christ Episcopal Church.

The toys, among a host of other donated goods and household needs, are awaiting the arrival of their new owners — a family of six Afghan refugees resettling in Portsmouth this month. 

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Upper Valley communities prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

by Soleil Gaylord: The Dartmouth - January 14, 2022

Four months after the U.S. officially concluded its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, more than 50,000 refugees have been evacuated from the country and resettled in communities across the U.S., including the Upper Valley. Local community members have been providing support to help Afghan refugees settle down and welcoming them to their new homes. Read more

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