Thu July 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Small group protests possibility of housing Central American immigrants in Syraucse

Some central New Yorkers, including Maria Thomas of Syracuse (at left), are protesting the possibility of housing Central American immigrant children in Syracuse
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.  

Read more


Sat June 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Autograph book reconnects Oswego resident with Holocaust refugee

Francis Enwright, 88, poses with her autograph book, signed by Eva, and a photo of Eva with her family.
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.

Read more


Fri June 20, 2014

Health care changes a constant culture challenge for refugees

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.

Read more


Thu June 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Safe Haven Museum to hold 70th reunion for Oswego's Jewish refugees

A sign greets visitors to Oswego's Safe Haven Museum.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Beginning Thursday, the Safe Haven Museum in Oswego is celebrating the 70th anniversary of when 982 Jewish refugees were first housed at Fort Ontario.

In 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt allowed 1,000 Jewish refugees to enter the United States as guests, and they lived at the decommissioned Fort Ontario base in Oswego until 1946, when they were allowed to stay as American citizens or return home. The refugee camp, known as "Safe Haven," was the only location of its kind in the U.S.

Read more


Mon May 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

Learning center teaches English to students from 20 countries

Students on break at the North Side Learning Center
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

The Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board approved the removal of six wooden and concrete crosses on the outside of Holy Trinity Church which is being renovated into a mosque. But the controversy overshadowed the mission of the North Side Learning Center, which bought the Syracuse property.

"Salam alaikum everyone! Oh, the classroom is getting packed now!”exclaimed Abdulilah Al-Dubai, one of the founders of the North Side Learning Center. The center has eight classes that teach English to 150 students, who range from age four to 80 and come from more than 20 countries.

Read more


Tue March 18, 2014

Fear comes true as 'Lost Boy's' South Sudan clinic destroyed

John Dau, a former "Lost Boy" Sudanese refugee, now living in central New York.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The medical clinic in South Sudan set up by a former “Lost Boy” refugee now living in Syracuse has finally succumbed to new fighting in the country.

John Dau has had a lot of late nights keeping tabs on his medical facility since new fighting broke out in South Sudan in December. But last week, Dau said he was "stunned" to learn the fighting finally caught up to the village of Duk and his Lost Boys Clinic.

Read more


Mon January 27, 2014

'Senseless war' threatens former Lost Boy's work in South Sudan

John Dau, a former Lost Boy Sudanese refugee in his office in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A decade ago, central New York welcomed a group of refugees from Sudan known as The Lost Boys. Their story is famous for the long journey they made to flee decades of civil war.

Now they’re watching a new wave of violence in their homeland from afar.

Read more


Fri November 22, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Unique challenges for refugees becoming entrepreneurs

Martin Butts, left, goes over Ethiopian-born Fesseha Kahsay's business plan as part of the UP Start business incubator.
Ryan Delaney WRVO


Thu November 21, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees changing the face of an already diverse Syracuse Northside

A game of dominos at HopePrint's house on the Northside of Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how the thousands of refugees coming to upstate New York are weaving their way into the region's economy.

Turnout may be low this night because of first snow, Nicole Watts tells those gathered in her entryway. Even as she tries to explain this, there's a near steady knock on the front door.

Every Tuesday evening, this home at 129 Lilac Street on Syracuse's Northside turns into a community center.

Read more


Wed November 20, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees stepping into gap in health care services

Sarah Miner talks to Abdalla about his medicines.
Kate O'Connell Innovation Trail

The Innovation Trail is looking at how refugees have weaved their way into upstate New York's changing economy.

On a recent fall day, community health nurse Sarah Miner is welcomed warmly into the home of Somali refugee Abdalla. Miner works with HCR Home Care in Rochester and she’s been visiting Abdalla and his family for a while now.

Read more


Tue November 19, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees revitalize Rust Belt city of Buffalo

At Journey's End Refugee Services, Bishnu Adhikari, right, tests his students on their vacuum skills.
Ashley Hirtzel WBFO

Upstate New York cities take in around 90 percent of all current refugee resettlements in the state. All this week, The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how that diverse population has weaved its way into the region’s changing economy.

In Buffalo, a handful of students from countries all over the world are sitting in a class at Journey’s End Refugee Services. They are learning how to become janitors for local businesses. The group nods as a student explains an assignment to them.

Read more


Mon November 18, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugee communities pump new energy into post-industrial Utica

Stepanda Zhushma in a community garden in Utica. She came to upstate New York from Belarus on Sept. 23, 1989, a date that rolls off her tongue.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Since 2004, upstate New York has taken 90 percent of all refugee resettlements in the state. This is the first part of the Innovation Trail reporting series looking at how upstate New York's refugee population is influencing the region's economy.

Utica has long seen itself as a city of immigrants. The arrival of Italians, Germans and Irish drove the city’s population to peak at around 100,000. During the mid 1970s in the wake of major changes to the city's industrial base and dwindling employment opportunities, the population fell by nearly half.

Read more


Sun June 30, 2013

Greg Tripoli and Jai Subedi on The Campbell Conversations

Syracuse is one of the nation's destination cities for refugee immigrants. More than 7,000 have come to the area since 2001.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Jai Subedi, a refugee from Bhutan who arrived here in 2008 and Gregg Tripoli, the executive director of the Onondaga Historical Association, which has created a new exhibit at the Onondaga Historical Museum on the immigrant and refugee experience.

Read more


Wed May 29, 2013
Regional Coverage

Computer programs help refugees resettle

Arnie Poltenson, of Manlius, helps a refugee improve his English, using a computer program
Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A new community resource room, filled with 18 computers, is up and running as part of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement program in Syracuse.  Much of it involves literacy, key for refugees as they take steps to become a citizens of the United State.

Arnie Poltenson from Manlius is helping teach English to a refugee with limited knowledge of the English language, who has come to the new community resource room at the Catholic Youth Organization building on Syracuse's Northside.  

Read more


Tue May 28, 2013
Regional Coverage

Centralized information might help newly arrived refugees

Map shows where refugees arriving in Syracuse. are from
Onondaga Citizens League

A new study finds that agencies in central New York do a good job of taking care of the 700-800 refugees who come to Syracuse every year. One community group is suggesting creating a one-stop shop for these newly-arrived residents.

Read more


Fri March 16, 2012

The Brackett Refugee Education Fund on The Campbell Conversations

In their so-called retirement, Tom and Liz Brackett founded and now run an education non-profit, the Brackett Refugee Education Fund. In this conversation, they relate the story of how they decided to start this, how they approach and structure the work of their organization, and what inspires them to keep up the effort.

Read more