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WATCH: Refugees in Lakewood Need Your Help

The International Services Center provides assistance to about 125 families from counties around the world. An estimated 80 percent of them live in Lakewood. Want to get involved?

When Ahmed Al Ribeawi moved from war-torn Iraq to Lakewood last year his English skills were poor. He couldn’t find a grocery store, let alone understand the streets.

International Services Center resettles about 125 refugee families, like Ahmed’s, each year in Northeast Ohio. As many as 80 percent of those .

The Cleveland-based organization is looking for volunteers to help mentor new families moving into the area.

The organization recently hosted a reunion for the refugees at .

Those interested in volunteering in the mentorship program are encouraged to call ISC volunteer coordinator Joanne Anderson at 216-781-4560.

Carl Holland August 16, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Your main issue seems to be one of PERSPECTIVE. I understand that the school bullying issues we have here in the USA might take priority in your immediate view, but can't we just bring some global perspective to the table? This might seem like more factoids (which I am aware you don't like) but: 1) So child suicide accounts for about 4,400 deaths per year in the USA-for the sake of argument let's assume 100% of those were due to bullying (which isn't the case), as you cited that as a key issue requiring attention. (http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-and-suicide.html) 2) At Dollo Ado refugee camp in Ethiopia, 10 children under the age of 5 die daily due to conditions in the camps, so roughly 365 per year. The population there accounts for only about 20,000 of 11 million refugees worldwide living in camps, so much less than 1% (0.18 % actually). (http://data.unhcr.org/horn-of-africa/region.php?id=7&country=65) 3) So that means that somewhere in the area (using Dollo Ado as the constant) of of 200,750 children under 5 die in refugee camps annually (That's 365:20,000 = 200,750: 11,000,000). And that doesn't even count the deaths associated with camp conditions of the mass of humanity over age 5! 4,400 in the USA due to bullying compared to 200,750 worldwide due to conditions in camps? Is it wrong to consider the 200,750 as equally valuable to the 4,400 and in need of help and (potentially) new countries to live in? --Just factoids from a local lunatic.--
Michael A. Miller August 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Okay, Carl Holland. Whatever. What have you done to help them other than regurgitate statistics? Who is safe, secure, fed, clothed, educated and hired because you've done anything other than nerd off on a comment thread?
Carl Holland August 16, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Been working in international development since the early 1980's on lots of issues related to (but not directly connected) with refugees. My wife did much the same, before we relocated to Cleveland in 2004 due her taking a new position. I am retired now but at least I know that I did work to contribute when I could. Now I just take my time to nerd off to whoever will listen. Well played!
Cari Gornik August 16, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I've been sitting back and watching the mess that has come out of this article. Obviously, everyone has their right to a point of view and I want to preface this by saying that I don't think anyone here is wrong or right. Just throwing my thoughts out there... I know and have met a number of refugees. They work to become a vital part of our society taking on jobs in factories, cleaning dishes in restaurants, and cleaning hotel rooms. And anyone who is unemployed is welcome to go to the same staffing agencies that refugees are taken to and get a job. Also, as I see there is an aspiring entrepreneur in the mix, there are a number of organizations in Cleveland who work with entrepreneurs. They can help you with your business plan, connect you with mentors, and even introduce you to investors. If your niche market is dead, then it's time to pivot and find another. And if you google "help for entrepreneurs cleveland" you'll find the help you are looking for.
Jack Adderboilt August 17, 2012 at 01:18 AM
The Goldilocks Game ... World Melting Pots: Too few ... Just right ... Too many ??? Michaels: Too few ... Just right ... Too many ??? Government Safety Nets: Too few ... Just right ... Too many ??? Private Charity Safety Nets: Too few ... Just enough ... Too many ??? Ordinary Human Interest Stories: Too few ... Just right ... Too many ??? Human Interest Stories with a Hook: Too few ... Just right ... Too many ??? Folks Slipping Through the Cracks: Too few ... Just enough ... Too many ??? Dog Stories: Too few ... Just right ... Too many ???

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