Refugee Care Initiative

What is the injustice we are solving?
Refugees are people who have left their country forcibly due to unfavorable conditions. According to The UN Refugee Agency there are currently 65.6 million people in the world that are forcibly displaced worldwide. Out of that selected demographic, 10 million people are declared “stateless”.

To clearly understand the problem at hand, it is crucial for the public to understand what a refugee is. Due to the recent unfavorable political events, there has been an association present with refugees and those who harm the country. For this particular reason, many refugees not only struggle with cultural and health issues but also social problems because of the societal rejection they face constantly. These problems include and are not limited to: difficulty speaking and learning English, raising children and helping them succeed in school, securing work, securing housing, accessing services, and transportation.

The Refugee Care Initiative’s Founder, President, and Executive Director, Harshika Jha, is a 16 year-old high school student from Plano, TX who is dedicated to serving the refugee community. The journey started at an event in celebration of World Refugee Day at the Northwest Community Center in Dallas. Meeting and conversing with these refugees led to the realization that the skills these individuals possess are not being exhibited because of various limitations. Seeing her own parents, initially immigrants, adjust themselves to a new environment when arriving to America, had given her initial insight to understand a small portion of what the refugees go through in the United States. There were many problems that refugees faced, but if she could help assuage some the issues they faced, it would help their adjustment to a new community. Therefore, the Refugee Care Initiative will provide portable nutrition to refugees in collaboration with Refugee Services around the United States that fit their cultural needs.
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Kelsey T.

March 06, 2018

Hi Harshika! Thanks so much for sharing about your project -- we are so excited to have you as part of our community!! You are doing such important work to support refugees -- I love that you have identified the WIDE range of issues facing refugees -- from health issues to societal rejection to a lack of access to services and opportunities. I also can tell that you've already done some digging into some of the reasons why this persists -- including the fact that people (wrongly) associate refugees with people who are dangerous.

It is great to hear that you have spent some time talking to refugees to understand the problems they face better -- I'd encourage you to continue to involve refugees in the process of creating the solution and to continue to collaborate with them and get their feedback!

Continuing to understand the root causes of the injustice facing refugees will help you address it at the root. Here are some tools that can help take you through those steps of deepening your understanding:

The next step is to create your compassionate insight, which is a way of explaining the specific injustice you are working on, the root cause you are addressing, and then how you will address that root cause through your project. The above tools will help get you all set for that as well! As you develop this, I'd encourage you to think about how you can address the root causes of the injustice WHILE you address the immediate needs of portable nutrition for refugees.

I am so excited to learn more about your project! Thank you for doing this very important work -- and let us know how we can can support you! :)