IMAGINE BEING FORCED to leave your home, your friends, your job and your country – taking everything you can carry and moving from camp to camp until starting over in a foreign country. Now imagine doing this and having to start school, meet a whole new set of peers and do homework in a new language, too. That’s the reality for the some children in refugee families who resettle in Alaska. Our two guests are helping to smooth the transition for these families.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining guest host, Kathleen McCoy, in the studio are Karen Ferguson, the Program Director of the Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services program of Catholic Social Services, the only refugee resettlement program in Alaska; she is also the US Office of Refugee Resettlement's State Refugee Coordinator for Alaska. Christine Garbe is the supervisor for the English Language Learners Program with the Anchorage School District, the department that assists refugee children enroll in and adjust to school.
• Music to Their Ears - Michelle Theriault Boots reports on the RAIS Refugee Youth Music Group in Anchorage. Learn more about the group, the kids, the leaders or to volunteer (musicians wanted!) visit: RefugeeMusic.org
• From Bhutan to Alaska - In 1992 Nir Rana, then 8-years old, and her family were captured and taken at the Bhutan/India border along with thousands of other Nepali immigrant workers residing in Bhutan to a camp in Nepal. Today, 4 out of their 8 family members have resettled in Alaska after 18 long years as refugees. Ann Kaiser sat down with them to hear their story.