You have seen this photo before. Or, something very close to it. To us at Blossom Hill, this image conveys the risks and the hopes that is part of the refugee experience in the 21st century. This particular image was taken by Shala Gafary, a 2016 Blossom Hill Fellow. As part of her fellowship, Shala is on the island of Lesbos, Greece, providing critical legal guidance to families that are caught in the legal quagmire of being a refugee during very uncertain times.
In just five months, Shala has helped individual asylum seekers with critical support such as assessing legal options and assisting with filing registration and family reunification claims. Additionally, Shala has assisted with aslyum interview preparation directly with individuals, as well as through an online video guide. She has taught English classes, and served as an interpreter for coaching sessions for refugee women and their children as well.
Whether in Turkey, Greece, Afghanistan or Lebanon, Blossom Hill Fellows are being both innovative and resourceful in order to provide services and programming to meet the needs of children from the Middle East whose everyday lives have been disrupted, uprooted, and put on hold due to conflict.
And, there is more work to be done. We are thrilled to announce our second year of funding for the Blossom Hill Fellowship Program. This year there will be two tracks of funding: Emerging Leader Fellows, eligible for up to $10,000 a year; and Sustaining Impact Fellows, eligible for up to $50,000 a year. The full application will be available on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 12 noon EST.
We thank the Blosom Hill family for your support and urge you to:
With warm wishes for a peaceful holiday season,
Blossom Hill Foundation
Investing in peace through innovation.