iACT x Miry’s List: Creating Ripples Together
One question iACT gets asked quite often is if we ever work directly with resettled refugees here in the United States. iACT’s heart beats with the people and the place where our relationships began – the Darfuri communities who are still living in camps in Chad. Our hearts have since extended to communities in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Greece, and now Armenia. While we are currently committed to those specific communities, our hope has always been to ripple out to refugees and those working with displaced communities everywhere. We had the opportunity to do exactly that in the place closest to us-Los Angeles.
Miry’s List is a movement of neighbors and friends dedicated to welcoming newly arrived refugee families into their community through inspired crowdsourcing solutions. They provide amazing programs and pathways of connection in the Los Angeles area, one of them being SANAH Summer for Students, a Social and Emotional Learning Program to engage high school volunteers with their resettled refugee peers. Since June, the students and volunteers have been in weekly and one-on-one sessions with each other designed to cultivate connection, social and emotional growth, and English literacy and conversational skills.
iACT is honored to have been part of the creation of the first iteration of this program. During the collaboration we found ourselves tapping into the wealth of knowledge inside iACTivist, Global Citizens, and LEAD with EMPATHY to create weekly lesson plans centered around social and emotional learning themes and a volunteer guidebook that addresses leadership and communication. It has been incredibly fulfilling to be able to share iACT’s knowledge and blend it into creating something new and impactful.
Thank you Miry’s List team for offering us this opportunity to collaborate and share our experience in human-centered program creation.
By the afternoon, the consensus was encapsulated by what one humanitarian worker in Bangui told us, “This is CAR. It is always high risk.”
Fr. Vazken Movsesian, from In His Shoes, interviewed Katie-Jay and Gabriel about their shared journey as anti-genocide activists and about iACT’s work, from its inception to our recent trip to Armenia to work with communities affected by the 2020 war in Artsakh.
We are excited to announce that iACT has secured initial funding for our team to return to the Central African Republic (CAR) this fall, for the first time since 2017.