Stories

An Afghan family recently resettled in Massachusetts with help of the International Institute of New England.

Citing housing shortage, New Hampshire’s Afghan resettlement groups say they’ve hit capacity

January 11, 2022

New Hampshire’s housing shortage has slowed the process of resettling Afghan evacuees, according to two local organizations. Of the 150 Afghan evacuees who have arrived to New Hampshire since November, about half of them remain in hotels. “The housing market in New Hampshire has made it very difficult to find affordable and safe housing,” said Donna…

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December 16, 2021

Undocumented farmworkers face many barriers when seeking health care. The pandemic has widened this disparity and now many workers are hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including in western Massachusetts. The air is cold and farmworkers in the region have to work through it. One undocumented worker, known as Flori, has dried leaves crunched beneath…

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Deqa Dhalac was sworn in as the new mayor of South Portland on Dec. 6, 2021.

New Somali-American mayor in Maine hopes to be an inspiration for young refugees

December 7, 2021

Deqa Dhalac was sworn in Monday as the new mayor of South Portland, Maine, making her one of the first Somali-American mayors in the country. Dhalac was first elected to the South Portland City Council three years ago, but has long worked in community-building roles: as an activist, social worker, and currently, as the family…

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Ethiopian woman finds safety in Maine after fleeing civil war, but fears for those left behind

December 3, 2021

As a civil war rages in Ethiopia, many Ethiopian immigrants in Maine have been cut off from loved ones back home. While one Portland resident was able to get her mother out of the country this fall, many others are struggling just to get in contact with family members in the war zone. On a…

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Vermont first-graders Happiness Alex and Emily Xia display art and writing projects in which they imagined themselves with different kinds of animal teeth. Their class is an even mix of English learners and native English speakers.

Multilingualism is seen as an opportunity instead of a hurdle in Vermont district

November 30, 2021

In a first-grade classroom in Burlington, Vermont, Janelle Gendimenico guides her students through a lesson focusing on the importance of getting every word in a sentence, especially when you’re talking about animal teeth. “Show me with your fingers. What does the naked mole-rat’s teeth do?” Gendimenico asked the class. “They go back left and right,…

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Glenda Cardenas’ daughter, Nathaly Torres, keeps a wedding photo of her mother and her late father, Miguel Torres, in her room.

Conn. mother waits to hear if she’ll be deported, as new immigration enforcement guidelines take effect

November 29, 2021

Glenda Cardenas is worried about her kids. Seated in their living room in Waterbury, she said her son and daughter, 10 and 14 years old, are afraid she’ll leave them. Again. Speaking in Spanish, Cardenas said the children ask if they’ll be separated next April. Right now, that’s as late as Cardenas can legally stay…

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Zambians in Maine launch community group to provide cohesion and support

November 26, 2021

Maine is home to several dozen immigrants from Zambia, a country of about 18 million people in southern Africa. While it’s one of the state’s smaller immigrant communities, many Zambians have deep roots here, and they’ve launched a community organization aimed at building cohesion, offering support and attracting more Zambians to Maine. The Zambian Community…

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Sudanese Mainers cut off from loved ones back home as military seizes power

November 18, 2021

As a military coup unfolds in Sudan, some Sudanese immigrants in Maine said they are concerned about the safety of their loved ones, and about the future of democracy in their home country. Some are calling for greater diplomatic intervention – while others take a measure of hope in the pro-democracy movement in Sudan. Sudan’s…

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Chicharrón, pasteles y arroz con gandules: los platos de Thanksgiving conectan a las familias Latinas de New Hampshire a sus raíces

November 18, 2021

Gustavo Quiñe, un peruano que vive en Derry, celebró su primer Thanksgiving en el 2016, justo después de mudarse desde Lima junto a su esposa Aurelia. Él cuenta que se quedó encantado con la mesa, especialmente, con el pie de pecanas. Pero, pensó que a la comida le faltaba sabor de casa y no se…

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Teacher Susan Blethen supports students Kingston Kirkland and Isra Aden in this classroom in Burlington, Vermont.

Multilingual liaisons are ‘cultural brokers’ for refugee students in this Vermont school district

November 17, 2021

In an office at Burlington High School, just off Lake Champlain in northern Vermont, Chacha Ngunga made a phone call. “Jambo jambo,” he said, greeting a student’s father in their shared language, Swahili. Ngunga is a multilingual liaison — one of 12 employed by the Burlington district. A few feet away, Noor Bulle, another liaison,…

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