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Community Engagement Programs

Program leader

The Welcome to America Project

Mission

The Welcome to America Project is a nonprofit organization that creates community connections and builds bridges of neighborly understanding by providing furniture, basic necessities, education, and more

Website

http://www.wtap.orgContact(s):

About the Internship

Duties:

WTAP interns will lead a team of volunteers in deliviering basic needs assistance to newly-arrived refugees.

WTAP believes in providing substantive service learning opportunities for college students. WTAP strives to educate interns about refugee resettlement, increase cultural understanding and competency, and develop the intern’s professional skill set.

5hrs/wk (Saturday mornings) interns will lead volunteers in direct interaction with refugee families through distribution of clothing or distribution of furniture and household items. Interns will educate teen and adult volunteers about refugee resettlement and the populations we serve. Interns will also develop cultural competency serving as the liaison with the refugee family.

3hrs/wk interns will work at WTAP office focusing on direct service projects to build the capacity of the organization. Projects and tasks will be assigned weekly, and, whenever possible, will align with interns interests. 

Tasks include:

  • project planning
  • volunteer outreach
  • donation outreach
  • program data collection
  • marketing/PR
  • fundraising

Additional hours will be completed in the field, but the schedule is more flexible for these.

Summary of Roles and Responsibilities:

  1. Independent research on refugee resettlement, refugee populations, and refugee integration
  2. Lead volunteers in direct service to refugee families, must have availability on Saturday mornings
  3. Outreach to raise awareness, develop new partnerships, and increase volunteer and donation capacity
  4. Responsible for clear and consistent communication with supervisor
  5. Responsible for upholding culture and values of WTAP

 

Population Served:

Refugees are forced to leave their homes due to a "well-founded fear of persecution"  based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a political party or social group. Refugees represent diverse communities with different religions, cultures, and education levels. Arizona is the seventh largest resettlement state, with over 3,500 refugees arriving last year. The top five countries of origin for refugees arriving in Arizona are: Iraq, Somalia, Congo, Myanmar, and Cuba. They come legally and have a clear path to citizenship.

Community Need:

After 10+ years in refugee camps, refugees arrive at Sky Harbor Airport with little more than the clothes on their backs and a suit case in hand. They have 90 days of government support to orient to their new country and culutre, find a job, and get on their feet. WTAP fills a gap in refugee resettlement services by leveraging community resources to provide comprehensive basic needs assistance and a warm community welcome to newly-arrived refugee families. In addition to meeting basic needs through donations of clothing, furniture, household items, and hygiene products, WTAP programs also meet the need for belonging through community interaction and welcome. 

Community Impact:

Each year, WTAP welcomes and supports 550-600 refugees in Maricopa County. Each family receives furniture and household items valued at an average of $1,200 to make their house a home. Annually, WTAP engages 1,300 volunteers in service to newly-arrived refugees. 

In the next three years, WTAP looks to double the number of refugees we serve. We believe that every refugee arriving in AZ deserves a warm welcome and community support. WTAP strives to build the capacity of our organization in order to make this dream a reality. Intern projects will have a substantive impact on moving strategic objectives forward.