Category: Covid-19 Impact

screenshot of volunteers in zoom video call practicing English with ReWA students

Refugees connect with “TalkTime”

It’s 5pm on Wednesday and faces start to appear on the computer screen. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased social isolation for almost everyone, so Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA) has moved ESL classes online. Since February 2021, a group of volunteers and ESL teachers have launched a new weekly online conversation circle called “Talk Time”. It gives refugee-students—many of whom are…

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Dr. Azmi Jaafar in Baghdad in front of statue of stone figure with four arms putting a column in place

Coming out of covid

In the past year, ReWA has helped over 200 immigrants and refugees in the Puget Sound access mental health counseling. Most suffer from depression, PTSD, or just have trouble adjusting to a new country.  All of these are exacerbated by the pandemic. Azmi Jafaar is the clinical supervisor of ReWA’s Behavioral Health program. He was trained in Iraq as a…

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Volunteer Appreciation

“Vacuuming children”–is that a mistake in English vocabulary or a practical solution to messy kids? Angela is a stay-at home mom of three, metal artist (pictured left in the workshop) and has been volunteering as a teacher’s aide at ReWA for eight years. When asked for an anecdote from the classroom, she recalled this line. “We were discussing New Year’s…

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"Why did the colonists fight the British?" in red ink above a painting of a battle scene from the Revolutionary War.

Citizenship boom

Have you ever wondered what an online Citizenship class looks like? It’s part history lesson, conversation practice and quiz show, where students are asked: “Who signed the Emancipation Proclamation?” “Who started the first free libraries?” “What was the Civil War fought over?”* Last year, ReWA’s citizenship classes moved online. In late 2020, thanks to a USCIS grant ReWA doubled their…

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Access to learning soars as ESL goes online

Last March, ReWA’s ESL Team was struggling: few of the immigrants and refugees who attended ESL classes had internet or computer access at home. Now, a year later, ReWA is offering five classes online serving over 70 students. How did we do it? Let’s go back to March 13, 2020, the day Seattle Schools closed… My name is Inga Muscio,…

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