For a number of years we have been proud to work with New American Pathways (NAP) as an internship site for our participants. NAP is a government supported program for the resettlement of refugees. It may come as a surprise to some, but their Georgia faction is one of the most successful resettlement and support programs in the country. Just last year alone they helped to serve over 500 refugees and asylees from 16 different countries.
We recently started our fall internship outreach and went to NAP to reconnect with their staff for our 2017-2018 program year. On our most recent visit we initially headed to NAP with no expectation of being able to start working (sorting clothes, taking inventory). Our original intention was to preview the site with our participants and meet the staff. Before going into the building we had a nice conversation outside about refugees, the purpose of NAP and also discussed what we might need if we went to a foreign country (bedding, dishes, toiletries etc). The group was enthusiastic and participative in this conversation.
After the group was all together, we walked inside to check out the lobby area and to continue our discussion. However, once we poked our heads in the office, we were immediately warmly received and their staff offered an impromptu tour of the facilities and were asked if we could start our interning duties that same day!
We were very proud of the group for being flexible with the opportunity to begin work without previewing it beforehand. We met all the NAP staff, and took some time to work in their clothing donation room where we all pitched in on sorting, hanging and organizing clothing inventory for the refugees.
We are excited for our next visit and can’t wait to explore our future opportunities in service of others in need.