Today, we are excited to announce that ReWA is a 2023 Classy Award winner in the Social Innovation category. We’re proud to share that our Domestic Violence Program is recognized for its contribution to helping refugee and immigrant women and families.
About the Classy Awards
Classy, an affiliate of GoFundMe, is a Public Benefit Corporation and giving platform that enables nonprofits to connect supporters with the causes they care about, is celebrating 10 years of the Classy Awards. The Classy Awards is one of the largest nonprofit award programs recognizing excellence in impact and innovation. Now in its tenth year, the initiative brings together groundbreaking nonprofits and impact leaders to honor the achievements driving lasting change around the globe. Determined by the Classy Awards Leadership Council, which is comprised of trailblazing organizations in their own right, such as The Trevor Project, Doctors Without Borders, and Shriners Hospitals for Children; this honorary board evaluates nominations from thousands of organizations addressing challenges around the world.
Winners were determined by the Leadership Council, an honorary board of social sector leaders, with representatives from organizations such as Jane Goodall Institute USA, The Salvation Army USA, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
This GiveBIG, ReWA’s goal is to raise $100,000 to increase our capacity to remove barriers to housing, education, legal status, and employment for 200 Ukrainian refugees. By giving to ReWA this GiveBIG, you can help provide critical support to clients such as Ukrainian refugee Liudmyla. ReWA client Liudmyla’s dream in America was simple: build a foundation upon which to improve her life through work.
After traveling thousands of miles, first to Poland and then to the United States, bringing only a suitcase, Liudmyla was determined to make her dream come true. With the help of a ReWA case manager, Liudmyla connected with an employer in Federal Way, Washington, who recognized her skills and capabilities. Despite initial language and cultural barriers, Liudmyla remained focused on her goal of becoming self-sufficient. After showing a strong commitment to her employer, she has been given advanced opportunities.
Liudmyla’s journey is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of community support. As Liudmyla says: “never wait to act, be happy, and do good now.” Liudmyla attributes much of her success to ReWA. She regards ReWA as her second family and expresses gratitude for the emotional and practical support she has received. By receiving wraparound services that help in all areas of her life, she has been able to acclimate herself to the American way of life.
Please give today so ReWA can house, employ, train, and apply for legal status for 200 Ukrainians this year.
2023 Announcing: ReWA Named a 2023 Classy Awards Finalist
Today, we are excited to announce that ReWA is a top 50 finalist for the 2023 Classy Awards.
Classy, an affiliate of GoFundMe, is a Public Benefit Corporation and giving platform that enables nonprofits to connect supporters with the causes they care about. Classy’s platform provides powerful and intuitive fundraising tools to convert and retain donors. Since 2011, Classy has helped nonprofits mobilize and empower the world for good by helping them raise over $5 billion. Classy hosts the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe. We’re proud to share that our Domestic Violence (DV) program is recognized for its contribution to help refugee and immigrant women and families overcome violence and sexual assault.
ReWA’s Domestic Violence program is the only program designed with all immigrants and refugees in mind. With nearly 1/4 residents of King County being foreign-born, the culturally and linguistically-responsive services the DV Program offers are crucial. Our community needs culturally competent, trained providers to support survivors and their children as they seek safety and rebuild their lives. Together, DV Program staff speak 24 languages and dialects, the most of any domestic violence provider in the Pacific Northwest. Last year, ReWA’s DV Program served 700 survivors worldwide, including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America, and East Africa.
At ReWA, we understand the unique barriers that women and families in refugee and immigrant communities face. That’s why we’re dedicated to addressing them in ways that maintain victims’ sense of identity and attachment. As a trusted leader in this community, we provide a safe haven for victims to seek assistance without fear of retribution or shame. Our program helps victims rebuild their sense of self-worth, personal safety, and acceptance within their communities. This empowers them to transition into their lives here in America not as victims, but rather as empowered women/families.
Support ReWA by Voting Today
This year, 11 Classy Awards will be distributed including the People’s Choice Award, which is determined by public vote. We encourage you to vote here.
Voting is open from April 6th to April 25th. Winners will be announced on June 7th at Collaborative by Classy, and we look forward to sharing updates with our community then.
Mones Esfandiari is a young woman who was born and raised in Afghanistan before relocating to the United States in 2016. Since an early age, Mones had a passion for art and hoped to incorporate it into her studies. Upon moving to the United States, Mones was determined to pursue her passion for the arts and enrolled at Todd Beamer High School in Seattle. While exploring the city, she became inspired to pursue a career in architecture, and her fascination with the city’s beautiful buildings fueled her ambition to design and construct buildings herself. Mones’ family background in engineering has also had a significant impact on her career path.
“When I was little, I always wanted to be an engineer and work on construction sites. When I came to Seattle, architecture was the first thing that came to my mind and since it was related to art and engineering, I decided to go for this field.”
Mones’ first contact with ReWA was in 2018 when she faced challenges with the English language and needed assistance with college and scholarship applications. During her high school years, she struggled with English, making it difficult for her to stay motivated. Despite her best efforts, she always felt inferior to other students, which affected her self-confidence and self-esteem. However, with the support of ReWA, she was able to gain access to help with essay writing and financial aid applications.
“Lucinda, Alicia, and Reza helped me a lot with my essays for scholarships, helped me to apply for financial aid, and meet with different professors in colleges and universities.”
ReWA also connected Mones with an architecture firm to gain insights into her field of interest. Through ReWA, Mones met with an architecture firm, SKL (Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects). Following her meeting with SKL, Mones was invited to participate in a competition aimed at designing something that would benefit the immigrant and refugee community. Impressed with her skills, SKL asked Mones to participate in a panel discussion to discuss the project she designed during the competition. Although Mones was initially stressed, the experience greatly impacted her life. Not only did it boost her self-confidence and morale, but it also provided her with valuable lessons on how to share ideas with others to improve society. Mones and her team won second place.
“This experience was really valuable for me and impacted my life not only for my future career but also helped me build confidence because I found myself in front of groups of professionals. Although I was stressing, it improved my self-confidence and gave me morale that I can improve in the future.”
Mones has shared a range of designs on her Instagram, TikTok, and website. One project that she is particularly proud of is a building design for a community in South Park, Seattle. Through research and site visits, Mones found that the neighborhood lacked access to fresh produce. Using the AIA Framework for Design Excellence, she designed a building that included a market, community kitchen, dining space, classroom, and affordable business office. This opportunity helped Mones understand how to use the environment to solve a design problem; Mones realized that every little piece of information is important and can turn into a transformative piece of work.
“As an architecture student, I want to incorporate all my ideas of art and combine them with design. Building and designing a place that people can enjoy and hope to visit one day.”
Before this project, Mones focused mostly on visual design without realizing how design impacts the community or whether the community needs the space. But she realized that design can be very powerful and affect people’s health and well-being. By making healthy design decisions, Mones can strive to become a successful architect and designer who cares about the environment and the health of the community while staying creative.
Mones reflected on her journey in architecture, thinking back to the doubts and fears she had faced when she was younger. She remembered feeling scared and uncertain about whether she could succeed in a field that was traditionally dominated by men. Mones felt compelled to share her story and encourage other young women to follow their passions, no matter the field. Mones wants other women to know that their backgrounds and cultures are unique and valuable, and that their opinions and styles are what makes their work truly amazing.
With a sense of optimism and enthusiasm, Mones wants to remind women:
“I want to encourage all women to do something that they’re passionate about and believe that their design or work will be worth remembering someday.”
You can follow Mones on her social media profiles below:
When Abdul (name changed) came to the U.S. early in 2022, he started working in the first job he could find: delivery driver. It was a far cry from his professional career in Afghanistan where he was an environmental and construction engineer for many years.
ReWA director of Family Support programs, Gizachew Manahle said the Day 1 housing program supports immigrant and refugees who are un- or under-employed and on the verge of homelessness.
“For many immigrants who have higher education and worked professionally, moving to the U.S. often means ‘starting over’. They end up in a survival job which puts them at high risk of losing housing. Also, when a person’s education and training aren’t put to use, it can be very demoralizing. And, their new community isn’t benefiting from their skills either.”
In his new job Abdul worked long hours every day, rarely saw his six children. Even with food stamps, he could barely earn enough to cover rent. He came to ReWA for help. ReWA’s Day 1 program provides case management support and short-term rent and tuition assistance to help them achieve economic and housing stability.
Abdul met with his career coach and made a career plan. He learned that with his engineering expertise, he could finish a six-month certification course and start work as a construction scheduler—a well-paid professional position that would return him to the career he had dedicated much of his life to.
But the training was full time. With tuition and rental assistance from ReWA’s day 1 program Abdul was able to focus on his studies, and invest in his future for his family.
When Abdul finished his certification, his career coach helped he update his resume, create a LinkedIn profile, and attend some job networking events. Within a month of finishing his certification Abdul was hired as a construction scheduler and earning a salary that would support his family.
Because the program uses a whole-family approach, his Day 1 case manager helped Abdul identify meant to pay utility bills while also enrolling in his wife in English classes and assisting her with a survival job search.
Manahle said the Day 1 program has helped over 161 families to remove major barriers to housing stability. He said this is done by addressing issues in housing, employment and social emotional wellbeing. Day1 participants end up in jobs ranging from logistics coordinator, truck driver, preschool teacher, medical assistant, quality assurance associate, research coordinator, constructions scheduler, drafter, phlebotomist, IT assistant and a car mechanic.
Yana Dareva-Morrison, ReWA Career Coach and Business Developer, who works closely with Day 1 participants, said, “When people come to us, we aim to create a trusting relationship so they can get guidance and clarity about their career path. This helps them navigate the U.S. job market—from the initial job search, to the interview, and finally the salary negotiation stage—we help them step confidently into that process.”
If you want to learn more email Day 1 case manager, Mohammed Beena at email@example.com.