Welcome to the Trip Around the World!! I'm your host, Joseph Kyobe. And I'm with my fellow travelers from Alight - Asia from Somalia, Betty from Rwanda, Osman from Sudan, and Jon and Stephanie from Minnesota. Me, I'm from Uganda. This trip is all about coming together to learn about Alight's country programs literally around the world, and building relationships with our teammates everywhere. It's all about being borderless - we are one WORLDWIDE team, working together to be the very best for the people we serve. First stop - doing the doable together in Somalia! Here we are in Hargeisa, Somalia, with our Alight teammates. We sat down to chat with our colleagues about what we might do together during our visit. One of the things they were most passionate about? Supporting the local mental health residency facility. The facility was running low on a few things - things like soap, sanitary pads, and new clothes for their residents. The Alight team in Hargeisa was moved … [Read more...] about Trip Around the World
A few days ago, we started on our journey to become Alight. And what better way to celebrate, to come together and start anew, than by giving to others? And especially to the community of organizations that call Minnesota home, too. Most of our programs support people where they are - before someone is resettled to another country. But the International Institute of Minnesota comes in on the other side of the coin. They support refugee families (less than 1%) who are resettled in another country, and who are now building their new life in Minnesota. The folks at IIM are SO busy, all the time. Everybody knows the feeling of being so overwhelmed that even the seemingly simple things can feel impossible. So today we're helping them make a small change that will just feel so much better when it's done - organizing their inventory! IIM gets lots of donations from people all over the state, wanting to lend a hand in helping families get settled in their new homes. But many … [Read more...] about Starting with Giving
As we embark on our journey to become Alight, we're starting with giving - giving to to the community where we call home, giving to like-minded people who are doing a lot with a little. Today and tomorrow, we're working with the incredible International Institute of Minnesota, which is celebrating 100 years of welcoming new Americans! The Institute works with single adults, families, and unaccompanied minors – teenagers or kids who have arrived in Minnesota alone, trying to navigate an entirely unfamiliar place. They teach practical things that we might overlook - like how to walk on ice, which is especially handy during Minnesota's winters! They're also the only organization in Minnesota that helps victims of trafficking who are non-US citizens. Sierra is a Case Manager for IIM's Anti-Human Trafficking program. “People are strong, some of the strongest people in the planet," she said. "The resilience that you see is amazing. People start by having no confidence in … [Read more...] about Welcome Home
Big news! American Refugee Committee is becoming ALIGHT! It's more than just a name change. It's a re-committment to the people we serve and the promise we've made to them. Part of that promise starts with Changemakers 365. Doing the doable is all about removing the barriers to making change - just diving right in and doing something good. It's about giving first, and believing in the abundance of ideas, creativity, and goodwill in people everywhere. That's why, to celebrate the launch of becoming Alight, our teams started by giving - we started by getting out into the communities we call home and making a difference, one idea at a time. First stop - a celebration of Khmer culture at Minnesota's own IKARE museum! IKARE is a first of its kind space promotes and preserves the rich legacy of the Khmer people. 40 years ago, American Refugee Committee began its journey in response to the crisis on the Thai-Camodian border, where a terrible genocide of Khmer people was … [Read more...] about Full Circle
"The single mothers in Nakivale never cease to amaze me." Andrew from the Alight team has seen how incredible some of the single mothers in Nakivale Refugee Settlement are - as sole providers and care takers, they need to navigate a difficult landscape while at the same time caring for the needs of their kids. It's a bit job. "Many single mothers find themselves doing labor in farms," he said. "But not everyone can handle that." One group of moms decided to band together to do something different - open a bakery! They're just getting their business of the ground, and like all startups, they needed a little capital. Andrew and the team put their heads together to think up ways to help. And together with the Nakivale Rotaract Team, they came up with a list of items that the ladies would need - and they set to work getting them! With this little boost, the moms will be able to make enough freshly baked buns to sell at the nearby school, and other people who pass by! … [Read more...] about Freshly Baked
Gatete lives in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda. He's had a particularly tough time recently, with an illness that's left him unable to support himself. When we first spoke to Gatete, he was sleeping outside, without a shelter. "Gatete needed help," said Andrew from the Alight team. "He came to us and asked what we might do to help. We immediately told ourselves, there's got to be something we can do." Together with the Rotaract Club of Nakivale, we had a shelter built for him, and helped him furnish it with the comforts of home, like a mattress and eating utensils. We also connected him to health services so that he can get a proper diagnosis. "It was really powerful to see Gatete's transformation over just one day," said Andrew. "He went from sleeping out in the open one night, to sleeping on a comfortable mattress the next, with a roof over his head and a blanket to keep him warm." "Just when I thought the world had turned its back on me, today I have reason … [Read more...] about A Home for Gatete
As a humanitarian working in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, it takes courage to stay in a refugee settlement from Monday to Monday without access to any outside updates or information. Most people who work in Nakivale spend the whole day in offices, and the only time they have access to watch the news is at night in the nearby trading center. It's soccer season, and teams really wanted to stay up to date! So we decided to surprise one of our partner's whole office team, the Office of the Prime Minister, with furnishes for their quarters - including access to TV! We furnished their staff house in Nakivale with refrigerators to keep their food cool, a set of chairs for the sitting room, and of course, a TV and cable connection! Their work can be long and stressful, so having something comfortable to come home to - and some access to the outside world - can go a long way in helping stress management and boosting moral. “I have been watching the news and sports updates … [Read more...] about Staying Connected
Pay Us A Visit Do you live in the Twin Cities? Or on a visit to the Land of 10,000 lakes? Our Minneapolis office doors are open to you ANYTIME! … [Read more...] about Minnesotan? You Betcha!
Join Us For A Virtual Gathering You're invited to join a Zoom Call gathering with Alight President/CEO Daniel Wordsworth. It's an opportunity to hear an update directly from Daniel - hear about our Alight values, … [Read more...] about Zoom Zoom!
Everybody knows what recess at school can be like - teachers deal with a lot of scraped knees, bumps, and bruises as kids unleash all the energy they've been building up in class. Having a first aid kit on hand is a MUST. At the primary school in Rubondo, a small community in Nakivale Refugee Settlement, teachers deal with those little childhood injuries all the time. They told us that when it comes to safety, first aid kits would go a long way in helping ease these little bumps and bruises for the kiddos. But they didn't have any. So with the help of the Rotaract Club of Nakivale, we got first aid kits into the hands of all the teachers at every primary school in Rubondo. The kids will help get bandages on those scraped knees, and they'll also work to promote a culture of safety at school. Now, the teachers can help their kids be safe at school...and stop worrying about not having these supplies on hand! … [Read more...] about Safety First!