refugees

This week: Refugee care, sinusitis and sexual violence

May 11, 2017

Pediatrician Andrea Shaw cares for many children of refugees who resettle in Syracuse. They come from a variety of countries, including Eastern Europe, Somalia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Republic of Congo, Sudan and Syria, often to escape persecution and other hardships.

Courtesy Hannah Ring / Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Local environmental activists are putting pressure on Onondaga County to change advisory signs about eating fish caught in Onondaga Lake.

Everyone agrees the fish in Onondaga Lake are a testament to a legacy of pollution, and shouldn’t be a staple in anyone’s diet -- especially pregnant women and children.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Construction will begin soon on Syracuse’s Near West Side to create OnTECH, a charter school targeted towards helping refugees and at-risk students get their high school diplomas.

OnTECH founder Ellen Eagen describes the mission of the school as “dovetailing this child who’s on the cusp of falling off of the educational pipeline with an employable skill set and with this idea of reengaging them with their curiosity in education.”

Becoming a nurse in NY to return to refugee camps

Mar 16, 2017
Monica Sandreczki / WSKG News

College can feel isolating for anyone, but for someone in a new country, that feeling is amplified. In the midst of that feeling of loneliness, Nobel Htoo has her eyes set on returning to refugee camps in Thailand and her village in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

"Someone to look up to"

"Stay focused. Be motivated. Be strong. Be kind." That's the mantra Nobel says to herself every morning before classes at Hartwick College in Oneonta. All she wants is to earn her nursing degree.

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG News

When refugees resettle in a new country, they often deal with tension between new cultural values and traditional ones. For Joh June See Na, grappling with these values is overwhelming, including the differences in how women are expected to interact with men.

Taylor Swift and "woman power"

At her apartment in Ithaca, posters of Southeast Asian women wearing dresses in fuchsia and turquoise hang on most of the walls. June See, as she's called, lives there with her mom, who sews dresses like these for other ethnically Karen women.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Public debate continues in Syracuse about President Donald Trump's policies, including his newly ordered travel ban. The executive action temporary suspends the visa process for six majority-Muslim nations and refugees.

In Canada, humanitarians ask: Is the U.S. still safe for refugees?

Feb 21, 2017
Jimmy Emerson / Flickr

Several aid organizations and pro-immigrant groups are pressuring the Canadian government to pull out of a controversial program which turns away almost all refugees coming in through the United States.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

At a time when refugees are mired in political debate, one Syracuse elementary school held a rally to support for its refugee population.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Some upstate lawmakers are asking the state to step in and fund refugee resettlement programs that they said have been caught up in President Donald Trump’s travel ban and the resulting chaos.

The federal government funds refugee resettlement centers in upstate New York cities. But under the rules, the money for staff is based on the number of refugees coming in. When Trump’s travel ban briefly froze the entry of refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, the funding for the resettlement centers dried up, too.

The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees / Facebook

Officials with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees say their philanthropic work has been interrupted by President Donald Trump's attempts to temporarily halt refugees from entering the country, and that's taking a human toll on families who were ready to start a new life in the U.S.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News File Photo

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) dismisses the outrage over President Donald Trump's executive actions as hysteria. The president temporarily halted all refugees from entering the country and anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries. It also put in place an indefinite ban for all refugees from the war-torn country Syria. The ban is now on hold because of a court order.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner hosted a rally in downtown Syracuse to hear from refugees and immigrants affected by President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A Syracuse agency that resettles refugees in Syracuse is beginning to deal with the fallout of President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees from entering the U.S. over the next four months.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is offering his top attorneys to help defend detainees and their families affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner delivered her final State of the City speech Thursday evening.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse’s burgeoning refugee population has prompted one local hospital to invest in new technology that will allow access to a translator in less than 60 seconds.

You’ll find these rolling translators  in several departments at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse; they are basically an iPad, wired to a small gray speaker, attached to a cart on wheels. One touch to the iPad, and you hear something like:

"Thank you for calling LanguageLine Solutions, this is Alton, ID number 249063. I’ll be your Spanish interpreter today.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

About 2,700 families, which include 6,400 children lined up for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau distribution day in downtown Syracuse Monday. Pre-registered low-income families received toys, books and a food basket to help families get through the holiday season. And more and more, the families filing through the OnCenter are from central New York’s growing refugee community.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

The Utica City School District has settled a lawsuit with New York state over allegations that it denied equal education opportunities to some refugee and immigrant students. The school district had diverted some foreign students to an alternative education program that taught them English, which the lawsuit claimed was inferior. 

Redeemer Cup brings new & old Uticans together

Jun 8, 2016
David Chanatry/NY Reporting Project

The sounds of sport filled the air in Utica this past weekend, but despite the time of year, it wasn’t the crack of the bat that was heard. More than 10 percent of the city’s population is made up of refugees, and they were playing a different game.

In Utica’s Proctor Park, between a baseball diamond and basketball court, several fields were full of sounds of “the beautiful game.”

It’s the sixth Redeemer Cup international soccer tournament, a sort of mini-World Cup in central New York. Fifteen teams competed this year, comprised of refugees and immigrants.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

An organization that helps resettle refugees in central New York is celebrating the one year anniversary of its headquarters in Syracuse. The agency said it is fully committed to helping refugees from Syria if any are relocated to the area.

InterFaith Works unveiled a new sign outside the building they own, which is a big deal considering they have been renting different spaces since 1976 to provide refugees with the living, employment training and medical services that they offer.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Rochester became the “Capital for a Day” on Thursday.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his cabinet visited the city to learn more about that part of western New York. New York's Secretary of State Cesar Perales sat on a panel that heard from people who work with the area’s immigrant and refugee communities.

The secretary of state says even though the legislature hasn’t passed the Dream Act — legislation that would assist children whose parents are in the country illegally go to college — the governor is committed to the proposed legislation.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Hundreds of immigrants from around the world, now living in Syracuse, came out to Schiller Park on the city's north side last Saturday to celebrate World Refugee Day. 

 

Drummers from the African country of Burundi kicked off some of the cultural performances at World Refugee Day. The morning started with a soccer and volleyball tournament.

 

  A group of young girls take a break from watching. They're wearing brightly colored head scarves of pink, blue and purple. Dahabo Layli used to live in Somalia.

 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sumitra and Maniran Paudel arrived in Syracuse from a refugee camp in Nepal in 2008, some of the first Bhutanese refugees to resettle on the city’s north side.

"When we came here the first time, we had a big dream," Maniran said.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

John Dau is a man that perseveres. And the staff of his medical foundation on the ground in South Sudan is no different. Since the Duk Lost Boys Clinic in rural South Sudan was destroyed in March by rebel fighters, the medical team has fanned out to keep working.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

At a community meeting a few weeks ago, questions and comments about Syracuse being used as a shelter site for children flooding into the country from Central America were heaved at Mayor Stephanie Miner for two hours; some written neatly on note cards, others shouted from a crowded room.

When Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner sent a letter to President Obama offering to host undocumented Latin American children at a former convent, a spirited version of the immigration debate erupted in the area.  On this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher continues his interview of both Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.  They discuss the  hosting decision, and also have a more general conversation about leadership and politics in the region.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

While Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner wants the city to be a temporary shelter for Central American children fleeing to the country, there is a vocal opposition against it.

There are strong opinions on both sides over whether Syracuse should become a temporary shelter site for the children.

The mayor was interrupted often Thursday evening by a boisterous crowd at a North Side meeting with shouts of "legal!" and applause for comments both for and against.

It took back-to-back sessions to accommodate an overflow crowd of a few hundred.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Some central New Yorkers opposed to the idea of housing immigrant children who are waiting to be deported in Syracuse are protesting.

A dozen or so protesters carried signs that said things like, “Honk if you support legal borders” in front of the Sisters of Saint Francis property on Syracuse’s Northside during rush hour Wednesday evening.

The site is a location federal officials have looked at as a potential place to house some of the immigrant children flooding across the border from Central America in recent months.  

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Oswego's Safe Haven Museum is marking 70 years since Fort Ontario served as a camp for Jewish refugees fleeing Europe during World War II. To celebrate the event, one Oswego resident who lived near the fort at the time talked about what it was like and tells the story of her long-lost friendship with one refugee.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It's World Refugee Day around the globe and their numbers are only rising.

There are now 50 million refugees worldwide, according to new numbers from the United Nations, the most since World War II.

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