(Baltimore, MD) Oct. 1, 2014—Islamic Relief USA is helping immigrants and refugees to find promising opportunities as instruments of economic and community growth in Baltimore.
In collaboration with the International Rescue Committee and Capital Area Asset Builders, IRUSA has established a financial capability program called Pathways to Success. The program equips people with the resources and know how to start a business and buy a home. These initiatives have been prioritized by the City of Baltimore in an effort to achieve growth and economic improvement by attracting hard working newcomers.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake recognized the successes of this program at a local film screening this past Wednesday. She congratulated prospective home buyers and urged non-profits to continue supporting this work.
In Next City’s film “Building Resilience in Baltimore through Immigration,” immigrants are portrayed as key actors in societal change. Valued immigrants add value to a society: they are twice as likely to start businesses and invest in their community. Baltimore is serving as an example for how to treat those in need not as a burden, but as willing and able citizenry.
Following the film screening, Islamic Relief USA interviewed beneficiaries about their experiences. More than anything, their stories spoke to the
depth of their struggle, and the extent of their strength.
“We have nothing,” said one Pakistani refugee, who had fled religious persecution with her family, “I was a teacher. I left my entire life,” with tears in her eyes, she said, “Thank you IRUSA, for giving us a chance. You are angels.”
Islamic Relief was deeply moved by this exchange. These brave women and men have shown remarkable resilience, despite having experienced unimaginable difficulties. We are honored to help provide the tools they need to build new lives.
Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. Its programs benefit millions of people each year around the world, including in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.