The Multicultural Refugee Coalition is an innovative Austin non-profit creating livelihood opportunities for refugees through a unique blending of skills-based education and social entrepreneurship. We operate a sewing social enterprise, an interpreter training business, community gardens and a community center which offers specific livelihood-focused community support of refugees' journeys toward self-sufficiency.
1) Initiated a new interpreter training course for refugees and community members,
2) Secured several new, long-term contracts for our Open Arms sustainable textile manufacturing,
3) Focused our Community Center on employment-related services,
4) Begun exploring paths to expand our gardening program into a small farm,
5) Undertaken a comprehensive strategic planning process, and
6) Attended a White House meeting on public and private partnerships to address the refugee crisis.
We are proud of the unique fit of our enterprises into City of Austin initiatives on locally grown food, sustainably manufactured sewn goods and the expansion of language access.
Multicultural Refugee Coalition has provided the opportunity for over 800 refugees from 23 different war-torn or conflict area countries to become more integrated into their new community of Austin in the following ways:
- providing access to a plot of land for up to 50 refugee families each year to connect with former farming traditions and grow healthy food for their families
- employing up to 7 refugees in the textile manufacturing business at our social enterprise Open Arms
- training at least 75 bilingual refugees a year as professional interpreters
- training at least 50 refugees a year in sewing
We are significantly impacting the lives of refugees here in Austin by providing training, community support and job opportunities to help them thrive in their new home. Your contribution makes the following possible:
$1200 pays an instructor for the four-month Open Arms' Sewing Training course
$1000 pays the staff of the Agriculture Enterprise for one month
$500 covers the cost of supplies for the four-month Sewing Training
$100 will buy refugee gardeners seeds and transplants for one season
$50 is the annual fee for one refugee garden plot
$30 covers the cost of one language assessment for a refugee to be admitted to an interpreter training course
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Multicultural Refugee Coalition- ATXby Natalie Bell
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services refugees are persons living outside their country of origin who cannot return to their homes due to fear of persecution based on their race, religion, or membership in a particular social/political group.
Approximately 70,000 refugees are settled to the United States each year. Texas receives approximately 4,500 refugees per year and is one of the top states for refugee resettlement in the United States.
Multicultural Refugee Coalition creates opportunities for refugee livelihoods through training, education and community connections. In Austin, MRC runs a community garden so refugees can work the earth as not only a connection to their community back home; but as sustenance for their families as well. MRC also runs interpreter trainings so refugees can earn a supplemental income while providing a critical link to their home community. MRC's Community and Training Center is located in North Austin in the heart of Austin's refugee community. Services include ESL, child care, citizenship classes, computer workshops, food stamp renewals, sales of discount bus passes, and a10-week sewing training course. Monthly potluck events at the center bring neighbors together to share traditional foods, help each other navigate the transition to life in Austin, and enjoy activities rooted in the traditions of their cultures, such as sewing circles, soccer games, and musical ensembles.
The time is now. If you want to help refugees that are already here in Austin, Texas feel welcome, learn skills that will allow them support themselves and make a comfortable life for their families- DONATE to MRC. Whatever amount you can donate means so much more to them than it does to you. Let refugees coming to this country know that they are welcome, and that the people of the United States value people from all creeds, countries and colors.
Supporting Refugees Must Be the Work of the Worldby Sean McCarthy
Hello, my name is Sean McCarthy and I have been a volunteer with the Multicultural Refugee Coalition for over 2 1/2 years now. When I first started with MRC, I supported the Pathways to Self Sufficiency Program by co-teaching ESL classes, providing homework help, and tutoring individuals in computer literacy. Recently, I became the Lead Citizenship teacher where I teach citizenship classes during our Community Resource Days, as well as creating an "Immigration Enforcement Emergency Resources" station for those who need resources on protecting themselves, their families, and their rights when faced with immigration officials.
The Multicultural Refugee Coalition is a local Austin non-profit that helps refugees who comes from all over the world resettle into Austin through our multiple program opportunities. Our programs include:
- Open Arms: Empowers refugee women by providing them with fair-wage employment through manufacturing their sewn goods and apparel and collaborating with community partners.
- Agriculture: The New Leaf Refugee Agriculture Program offers refugees from traditional farming cultures the chance to "get their hands back in the dirt" and cultivate a piece of land in their new community.
- Interpreter Training: Help refugees earn a supplemental income while also providing a critical link to their communities and to the City of Austin through language access.
Community & Training Center: Services have included ESL, child care, citizenship classes, computer workshops, food stamp renewals, sales of discount bus passes, and our 10-week sewing training course. We also do a monthly pot-luck that brings the community together to share traditional foods.
We assist refugees that come to us from all over the world. Iraq, the Congo, Burma, Myannmar, etc. And the one thing you realize after working with these people all year is that... They are no different than us. They just want the same basic rights and opportunities as the rest of us. The sacrifices they've made uprooting their entire life and way of living to move across the world in order to ensure their safety and freedom is immensely couragous and commendable. When they arrive here, we need to be there to welcome them with open arms and help them resettle comfortably in any way we can. Refugees are what makes America great. Please come together to support them by donating to MRC!