For more than 35 years, RT has been creating impactful community connections through education. One of the ways we do it is through home-based tutoring/mentoring, our original program (running since 1982!)

Meet Anandi, one of our 300 hard-working volunteers. Anandi has been tutoring in RT's home-based program for the past 8 years, with unwavering dedication and passion. She's worked with nine adult and youth students who have sought refuge in the U.S., from countries including DR Congo, China, and many others. With Anandi's encouragement and support, many of her students reached important milestones such as college, citizenship, or employment.

home-based-adult-student-and-tutor
Anandi is very helpful. She is helping me to prepare for GED. I am so lucky to know her.
— Margaret, Anandi's Student

Pictured: Margaret (left) and Anandi

What made you want to become an RT volunteer tutor?

Ever since my college days, I have enjoyed tutoring. Everyone has a right to education, but that is being denied to women in many countries. When my son graduated from high school, my volunteering at schools came to an end. I found myself looking for a place to volunteer and I found RT to be the perfect place for my passion for helping women become literate and self-reliant.

What is one thing that you have done, that you're proud of?

Helping my student Margaret prepare for her citizenship exam. All the vocabulary was new to her. In addition, some concepts, such as "constitution," are difficult to grasp if one grew up in an authoritarian regime. But Margaret was very motivated and worked very hard. In less than a year, she knew answers to all 100 citizenship exam questions. I was so proud of her when she passed the exam. 

Is there something that your students have taught you?

Many of them have taught me resilience by sharing their experiences with me. Sometimes I learn something new about the history and culture of my student's country. For example, one day I learned about Nineveh, its history and its significance.

What is the best thing about being a tutor?

There are so many things I can think of. There is joy you feel when your student has accomplished something that will have a positive impact on her life. With some students, you develop relationships, and when you get treated like family, you feel moved.

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In FY 2017-2018, we served a record 2,500 individuals of all ages and genders, who had sought refuge in the U.S. 381 students worked with home-based volunteers like Anandi. You can help us create these essential community connections.

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AuthorAndrew Bogrand
CategoriesRT Stories
 

Directed by Jason Outenreath, Languages of Hope explores the immigrant experience through the story of Santa, a multilingual mom and master weaver from Guatemala. Santa is part of the Mam indigenous group. She is incredibly driven and hardworking, and has joined RT's programs to get on the pathway to higher level employment opportunities.

You will also hear from Shaheen, RT's Intern and Teacher's Assistant, who has helped Santa and many other RT students gain computer skills. Shaheen arrived to the U.S. from Afghanistan just a few years ago as a high school student. Since then, he has grown into an incredible young leader who contributes his skills to the shared community.

Our expert for the film was Christopher Loperena, Professor of Anthropology at The Graduate Center, CUNY and RT Board Member from 2015 to 2018. He provided a deep perspective on the root causes of forced migration from Central America.

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AuthorAndrew Bogrand
CategoriesRT Stories
 

In 2016, RT teamed up with filmmaker Kate Lord to present this documentary film about an amazing newcomer family living in Oakland. They came to the U.S. as Karen refugees. The family are participants in RT's education, family engagement, and community leadership programs. They exemplify the ethos of giving back to the community, and we are truly honored to have them as friends and neighbors.

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AuthorAndrew Bogrand
CategoriesRT Stories
 

Refugee Transitions is proud to present our web-based story series, Pursuing Dreams: Stories of Refugee and Immigrant Youth in California! This project consists of a documentary film and 14 written stories submitted to us in 2015 by our youth students. The stories span the world and a variety of human experiences, but what they share in common is the resilience and determination of our amazing students. We strongly believe that sharing these stories will help in the great task of building more welcoming and inclusive communities.

california humanities
 

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities,
a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For more information, visit www.calhum.org.

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AuthorRefugee Transitions
CategoriesRT Stories
 

An innovative narrative cookbook by Dani Fisher and Lauren Markham, Between Meals shares the expertise, recipes and stories of newly arrived refugee women in the Bay Area. This book documents traditional recipes from around the world--from Burma to Liberia to Afghanistan--from Refugee Transitions' participants, written down with the help of their Refugee Transitions tutors. Between Meals tells the stories of students' exile from their home countries, their journeys to the United States, and their efforts--literally and metaphorically--to nourish their families in their new California homes. Our goal was to give voice to these women's stories, giving them the professional treatment that they deserve as expert cooks with deep culinary wisdom. More info and excerpts here

calhum
 

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities,
a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For more information, visit www.calhum.org.

KQED Bay Area Bites: "Liberian and Burmese Refugees Celebrate Christmas in Oakland" 

PRI: "These Liberian and Myanmar Refugees Cook Up Old, and New, Christmas Traditions" 

Design Sponge: "In the Kitchen with Halimo's Malawah and Spiced Milk Tea" 

Liza Ramrayka: "Feeding the Spirit" (also featured on The Guardian's Pick of the Blogs)

Taking Refuge: "A Home-Cooked Meal from Burma" 

Liza Ramrayka: "Dining to Make a Difference on World Refugee Day" (This article spotlights RT's World Refugee Day 2015 food event inspired by Between Meals. For this event, RT partnered with 4 restaurants in San Francisco and Oakland that donated a portion of proceeds to RT and/or created special dishes for World Refugee Day.) 

April 9 & 10, 2016: Between Meals featured at the LA Times Festival of Books and presented at the Food Futures panel. Thank you California Humanities!

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AuthorRefugee Transitions
CategoriesRT Stories


RT Unlocks Opportunity, 2014

 

Created by RT staff, RT Unlocks Opportunity is a quick introduction into the programs and impact of RT. Special thanks to Weston Kramer for his guidance on video creation.

Refugee Transitions: Change Your World, 2013

 

Meet some of our wonderful students! Filming generously donated by Simba Global Pictures

Want to see our older videos? Check out RT's Youtube channel

 

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AuthorRefugee Transitions
CategoriesRT Stories