Refugee Children American Resilience

New Mexico Creates Wilderness Program to Help Refugee Children

There’s a group of kids in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who speak English, Arabic, Urdu, Spanish, and French as they explore the wilderness and listen for bird calls.

They’re part of the Refugee Wilderness Explorers Program, born from a team effort between New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and the Catholic Charities Refugee Mentoring Program.

“The summer camps and afterschool programs we offer, while very helpful for the children, are meant to supplement the help that the children will get from their mentors, once they are matched,” Danielle Hernandez, the mentoring program coordinator, tells Laura Paskus of the NM Political report.

The children – many of whom don’t speak English – often arrive shy. Through the program, mentors have noticed a big shift in both curiosity about their natural surroundings and with each other.

 

Children in the program visit Sandia Mountain Wilderness.
Children in the program visit Sandia Mountain Wilderness. Photo: Laura Paskus / New Mexico Political Report

 

Most of these kids are refugees, brand new to New Mexico. Adjusting to a big move is hard for any kid, especially if you don’t speak the language and the new home halfway across the planet. This program helps refugees and immigrants find a sense of place and community in their new landscape. Getting to interact with this new environment – bugs, plants, people – is thrilling for them. They learn, explore, and get to just be, well, kids.

If you’re itching to make a tangible positive impact on mitigating the refugee crisis, read our piece outlining 4 ways you can help a refugee

Agrihood - food cultivation American Resilience

First Sustainable ‘Agrihood’ Gives Free Produce to 2,000 Detroit Residents

An urban renewal option that fosters communities instead of tearing them down and replacing them with gentrification.

One of Earth’s greatest challenges today is finding ways to give everyone access to nutritious and sustainable food. We know – small countryside farms. But how can we work with what we have today to generate sustainable grub?

Let’s talk *agrihood*, a new concept that promotes a localized relationship between living, eating, and working. It’s not new age mumbo jumbo, it’s actually cutting edge innovation that even big corporations are curious about because it’s working.

Non-profit The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI), along with funding from corporate friends with local interests (inc General Motors Technical Center and Sustainable Brands), formed the first sustainable agrihood in America. They’re based in Detroit, and they give free produce to 2,000 nearby residents. They’re also turning a nearby abandoned building into a community resource center that will soon be home to a cafe, non-profit incubator, and workshop space.

 

 

“More and more companies are realizing that if they embed purpose into the mission they can really help the communities that they’re in,” Jonathan Reese, Director of Business Development at Sustainable Brands.

Agrihoods aren’t a one size fits all type of deal but that’s what’s cool about them. They ask the community what they need and build accordingly.

Rise Up

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