TIS has been matched with a refugee family as part of the "Friendly Match" program of Jewish Family Services. We’re happy to welcome our “adopted” family who recently arrived from Malaysia. Take a few minutes to learn more about them…
The family consists of two parents, a 24 year-old son, a 19 year-old son, and two daughters age 12 and 5. They have a cousin who lives in San Diego.
The family has settled into a 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, located for them by JFS.
The leadership of TIS, with support from the most frequent participants in the daily minyan, approved a donation from the TIS Minyan Fund to help pay for essential furniture for our first family. JFS purchased the items through a friendly and supportive furniture store in Lemon Grove. The TIS donation preserved more of the government-provided refugee subsidy for use in paying rent and other essentials. Sisterhood has donated Walmart gift cards for the family to help them with their household and personal needs. Another gift card for the family was made possible by generous donations from individual TIS members.
Meet the family:
At 17 years old, the father moved to Malaysia from Burma with his parents. He resided in Malaysia from more than 30 years. The father worked as an electrician, but also did painting and plumbing work.
The mother is originally from Indonesia and moved to Malaysia at some point in time.
The children were all born in Malaysia, but were unable to receive Malaysian citizenship because their parents were immigrants.
Their statelessness blocked their participation in normal life in Malaysia and was their motivation to seek admission to the U.S. under the refugee program. While in Malaysia, they lived more in villages than in cities.
The older son is fairly fluent in English, and at ease with phones, computers, etc. The father and younger brother understand English but don't speak English as readily.
Both sons are enrolled in a program, San Diego Newcomers Project, run by Catholic Charities. The program provides them each with financial assistance from the federal and state governments for 12 months while they are training and searching for jobs. This may be the only source of income the family has currently.
The parents and the two girls will be enrolled in a program run by the County of San Diego, Welfare to Work. It's the local version of a state program, CalWorks. It also provides cash while the parents are looking for work. They need various identification documents to enroll but aren’t quite done with the process. This program has a lifetime limit of 60 months of benefits.
Make a donation:
If you would like to make a financial contribution, we can purchase additional useful gift cards to assist the family.
You may click here to make an online contribution or call the office.
Additional Resources from JFS for Volunteers working with Refugee Resettlement
Switchboard (a resource hub for refugee service providers) has links to many webinar recordings for working with refugees including;
- New to Refugee Services? Free Training, Tools, and Technical Assistance to Help You in Your Work (A collaboration with Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange)
- Practical Guide for Working with Refugees: Skills, Techniques, and Considerations
- Who are Refugees and How do They Arrive in the United States? Understanding the Refugee Resettlement Process
- Fundamentals of Equity and Resettlements: Understanding Social Identities in Refugee Resettlement
- There are 18 pages of archived webinars – 173 in all! Browse them all: Switchboard Archived Webinars.