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Help local refugees find employment this #GivingTuesday

Our first chef, Nieda, fled war and violence in both Iraq and Syria with her family of seven, leaving her loved ones behind. After living in Turkey, she finally was resettled in the United States. In New Haven, she was hoping to find a home, but has struggled to find a job. Nieda does not speak English and does not have a driver's license. She ran a bakery with her husband in Syria and was a hairdresser in Turkey, but she has no proof of this work experience. As a result, Nieda and her husband have both been unemployed for five years. 

But she is not alone. Refugees are forced to leave their country because of war, violence or persecution. New Haven welcomes approximately 400 refugees each year, but more often than not, what is supposed to be a new home hides more poverty and hardship.

Finding a job is a challenge when you do not speak English or drive a car. To be hired, you're required to have work experience in America. But you need a job to get that experience in the first place. Add to that childcare, patriarchal impositions in the family, and you can probably imagine how hard finding a job is for female refugees especially. Prolonged unemployment breeds poverty and social marginalization for too many refugees in our country.

Havenly's mission is to break this pattern through paid apprenticeships for female refugees. We combine work, on-site language classes and hands-on job training for four months to equip our trainees with the skills and experience they need. At the end of the program, our trainees are paired with job opportunities in New Haven. 

Over the past few months, we have set the foundations for Nieda and her family of seven to earn a a stable income through Havenly. After five years of unemployment, Nieda is now the genius creator of our Havenly baklava, our head chef, and a lead trainer eager to help other women like her find a job.

In January, we will take on two new chefs for a hands-on intensive apprenticeship program including English classes, digital and financial literacy, food safety certification, and more. To make this happen, we need all the help we can get. $8,000 will cover our staff, rent, and operational costs for the four months of the apprenticeship, starting in January. 

You can change a family's life today. Help us reach our goal of $8,000.