International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Communal gardening helps refugees sink roots in a new land

“I fundamentally believe that the refugees with a farming background gain some sort of spiritual strength from this kind of work. It’s a way for them to heal from some of the traumas that they suffered. It’s a way to bring life out of the earth.”
- Ruben Chandrasekar, executive director of the International Rescue Committee’s Baltimore office, on how community gardening benefits refugees who have been granted sanctuary in the United States. He's quoted in a story about the IRC's New Roots program that was published today in the Washington Post
An essential part of our broader resettlement efforts, New Roots enables refugees to reestablish their ties to the land, celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots—literally—in their new communities.

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