It’s a Friday night at the Darjee home. After a long work week, Ram, his wife Saraswarti, their daughter Angel and Ram’s mother are preparing for a fun evening with relatives.
Sitting with the Darjees, it’s hard to imagine that just 9 months ago they were living in squalor in a refugee camp in Nepal. Their apartment now has comfortable furnishings, colorful decorations lining the walls, a computer and lots of cooking equipment to prepare a nice meal.
In our series, New Hampshire’s Immigration Story, we’ve talked about how immigrants and refugees have affected New Hampshire’s economy, health care system, law enforcement, schools, now we look at art. Last year photographer Mary Catherine Jones began an ongoing photo series called “New Faces New Hampshire” featuring portraits and images of refugees and immigrants in Manchester. She joined NHPR’s Brady Carlson to talk about her photo series.
Pastor Joel Kruggel of the Bethany Covenant Church in Bedford talks about his congregation's work providing Sudanese refugees with their own place of worship, as well as computer literacy classes and computers.
In 2009, we spoke with new York Times reporter Warren St. John about his book Outcasts United– which tells the story of the Fugees soccer team and the growth of community around them. The book is currently being featured in the Concord Reads program at the Concord Public Library. Concord is a city that has experienced its own influx of refugees from war torn countries in recent years. Here is what Warren had to say about the Fugees' inspiring story.
From Burundi to Burma, from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, refugees from around the globe have been placed in New Hampshire to start their lives anew. Here they find new freedoms and far less dangers but new challenges as well. Many have to learn English, the American laws, become educated and find work. Federal programs help a lot but so do the cities and towns in which they are placed. Now Manchester wants to put a moratorium on any new refugees resettling here. City officials worry that they currently don't have enough resources to assist its current residents and with tight budgets get
Manchester officials are calling for a moratorium on refugee resettlement. Before anyone else arrives, city leaders say current refugees need more help finding work, learning English and getting educated then they currently receive. And now with state and local social service cutbacks, city leaders worry about Manchester’s diminishing capacity to help the newcomers. NHPR’s Dan Gorenstein reports.
Pat Long knows that some people will see him as a xenophobic Alderman from Manchester.