THE ANCHORAGE (AK), OPENED THE DOOR FOR REFUGEES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Around the world people are fleeing from terrible events, but the refugees are becoming less the places where they are willing to accept. While more and more countries are closing their doors, the Last frontier of America (Alaska) wants the whole world to know that it is open to all.

They are fleeing from persecution, poverty and war and are ready to live in dangerous refugee camps, or cross oceans in crowded boats.

“The authorities pursued a policy of ethnic cleansing, and then began to force these groups out of the country,” says Bhutanese refugee Hari Keli.

In the latest UN report “Global trends” it is noted that only in 2015 because of the violence, about 65 million people have fled their homes. It’s more than the entire population of France.

“Instead of improving the reception of refugees, showing them hospitality, recognizing their difficulties and hardships, as well as the reasons why people are fleeing, erected barriers. And it’s not necessarily the physical barriers. Sometimes the barriers are legal,” — says Filippo Grandi, the UN high Commissioner for refugees.

Grande recently said that the area needed to provide these people a residence, far exceed what governments provide countries. If we consider only dry statistics, it’s quite easy not to take into account the nature of a crisis. But any figures are real people, separated families, left home and exile in a foreign land. In anchorage (AK) city officials are working on a new policy aimed at the integration of immigrants and refugees who migrated here.

“When you walk through any store, on any street, you can hear many different languages. We have here is a constant intercultural dialogue. So we have learned to perceive each other and react not like newcomers expect from the residents of the city of anchorage, Alaska,” shares Amy Coffman, special assistant, initiative “Welcoming the anchorage”.

In 2016, the city won a grant to facilitate the integration of immigrants and refugees.

“We really want to find out who we are and how we can cooperate with enterprises, local authorities, and with the University to give people as many opportunities as possible to succeed,” says Amy Coffman.

In this strategy, the trust Fund of the territorial community of anchorage seeks to “revive” the mountain view, one of the most multinational regions of the country.

KIRK ROSE, Executive Director of the trust Fund of the territorial community of anchorage:
On this small territory inhabited by people literally from all corners of the earth. Every day there is a little experiment — different people trying to coexist in one place. And the whole town, the whole country is watching what is happening and how harmonious relations what are the problems that people need.

Working on the transformation of mountain view, in the trust Fund are asking a lot of questions, and then act on the basis that learn from people.

“It has always been that in mountain view move in extreme cases, and we have seen this, studying its inhabitants. On average, people stayed there not more than two years. But now, thanks to our work, people stay longer. The average term of residence is from two to five years,” says kirk rose.

“Catholic social service” is one of the organizations helping the refugees to achieve success after they moved here.

“Over the past five years, we moved to anchorage about seven hundred refugees!” — shares the joy Lisa Aquino, Executive Director of the organization “Catholic social service”.

Lisa Aquino spoke about the specific challenges that refugees face when they finally find a place where you can start a new life.

“On average, a refugee who came to the United States, left his home about 17 years ago. Imagine! That is, it has for a very long time had no home where he could live where he could send his child to a school where he could get a job and putting some money before I got here,” says Lisa Aquino.

KSS works with refugees, helping them to settle in Alaska, to learn a language, acquire professional skills and adapt to the harsh climate. Hari Keli moved here in 2009. He quickly learned English and found a job, determined to succeed in their new home.

“Refugees are working very hard. They are very conscientious. After getting a job, they try to save it. They are very determined: “I have to do something! I shall rise from the lowest level,” says Hari Heli.

In anchorage we intend to continue to strive to ensure that it remains the kind of town where people want to live and succeed.

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