News from Baltimore, MD
Get the latest updates and event listings from the International Rescue Committee in Baltimore, MD, and learn how you can help welcome newly arrived refugees.
From Harm to Home-Ownership
Adote Akwei spent years as a human rights activist in his native West African country, Togo, when he suddenly found himself a wanted man, facing death threats for his UN report on rights violations. After applying for asylum in this country during a planned short visit in 2005, he found himself in a strange country with nothing but the clothes on his back. It wasn’t for another two years that he was able to bring the rest of his family across the Atlantic to the United States.
A Look into the Life of a Congolese Refugee
Lushi has come a long way in the nine years since she fled the Democratic Republic of Congo with her husband and children. Thanks to the IRC, they are now safely living in Northeast Baltimore, but she has gone through a harrowing ordeal to get here.
Spotlight on Donation Shop Volunteers
Along the side of the Baltimore Resettlement Center, between colorful wall murals painted by young refugees, is a mysterious door. Inside is reminiscent of a small thrift store: racks of colorful well organized clothing as well as other household odds and ends. Stacked on one shelf are several Keurig coffee machines—brand new in the box—generously donated by Bed, Bath, and Beyond. This is IRC Baltimore’s donation shop, where refugees can pick up donated items for free.
Hopes and Dreams of Baltimore's Refugee Youth
Camille Wathne, IRC Youth Case Worker, spent several months photographing and interviewing young refugees in the Baltimore area, asking them about their hopes, and what they like and would change about their new environment. "I want to be a fireman... because they have a lot of water to put out fires", said Suyuk, a kindergarten student. See Camille's work below.
My summer internship for New Roots
Allyson League, a graduate student in Public Health at the University of Maryland, describes her experience interning with the IRC New Roots program.
A Darfuri Couple Reunited in Baltimore after Five Years
Abbas Yahya has been separated from his wife Amina for five years. With help from the IRC in Baltimore, he is finally about to be reunited.
Quiet Times After Being Reunited
With the help of the IRC in Baltimore, in July of 2014, Noreldin Younis was reunited with his family after six years of separation due to the conflict in their native Darfur. Photographer Audrey Gatewood spent some time with the family over the past year, capturing their quiet moments. In the photos are Salwa and Noreldin, their two sons, Alfatih and Awad, and the newest edition to their family, daughter Makaren, born in April of this year.
On a sunny Saturday in June, high school teens from Bhutan, Myanmar, and Congo sat chatting with their American peers on the lawn outside of Stony Run Friends Meetinghouse in Baltimore. Later, there was Frisbee, basketball, guitars, and Nepali songs. Through the activities, connections began to form across cultures. Those connections between kids uprooted from around the world and American students at a private college preparatory school were the goal of the day, the beginning of something.
Half a Life
Fifteen years ago, Olga was confronted with two options. The first was to stay with her two sons in El Salvador, but no be able to provide them with basic necessities, much less the bright future she dreamed of for them. The second was to leave her three year old and one year old to cross the border into the United States, and provide a dignified life for them from afar. As agonizing as the decision was, Olga knew it was best for her to leave her two sons and earn a living in America without them.
IRC in Baltimore Remembers Volunteer and Donor
When I first met Seska Ramberg in the summer of 2009, that she was special was immediately obvious. Even after only a brief introduction, her glow and positivity – born not out of naiveté but something ineffably deep – shone through. When I finally got a chance to talk to her, we very quickly determined a common connection: the unheralded Indonesian city of Solo, a center of Islamic study and Javanese court rituals. I had visited the city on a couple occasions. Seska had spent more than a year in Solo studying Javanese dance in the 1970s.