ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Women’s Institute at Russell Sage College has announced a multi-year project to provide support for female refugees and their families. The institute says approximately 500 refugees are expected to arrive in Albany each year.
The institute, along with Sage’s Office of Service Learning, is working with the U.S. Committee for Refugee and Immigrants’ Albany field office as its first Good Neighbors team. The committee is currently seeking teams who can provide support for the new residents.
The institute also hopes for a potential collaboration with Every Campus A Refuge (ECAR). ECAR is a nonprofit that mobilizes colleges to make campus resources available to a refugee family. The institute says the resources may include employment, education and housing.
“The refugee experience puts tremendous pressure on families and on women in the process of relocating to a different culture and navigating a complex legal and bureaucratic environment,” said Women’s Institute Executive Director Shelly Calabrese.
She said the institute will seek to support a single mom and her children.
Psychology major and Women’s Studies minor Eden Kuri ’23 is a Women’s Institute student-ambassador who will work specifically on the Good Neighbor and ECAR initiatives.
The institute will also work with the Office of Service Learning, which has a longstanding relationship with the Refugee Welcome Center in Albany, and with Sage’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which is planning refugee and immigration-related programming.
“This is a natural fit with activities throughout the college. So much has been leading to this,” said Calabrese. “It is a direction that a lot of people feel really good about and an opportunity to make a difference.”
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