Next RAMP Meeting: TBA September
NewsAugust 21, 2018
Dear RAMP members,
I hope you are enjoying your summer in spite of all the rain. I am delighted to report abundant sunshine in the lives of our two families.
The Tarakjis have received their green cards! This puts them on a five-year path to citizenship, should they so choose. And daughter Lona received the “kindness” camper award from the Boonton Recreation Department summer camp. Thanks to all of you who helped the Tarakjis live here safely and securely.
The Muniri family is also doing well. Dad Akhtar is now driving his own used car to work, thanks to generous donors, such as the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge. Akhtar is in need of a short-term tutor to help him prepare for a job-related test that would lead to a promotion. If you can help out two to three times a week for a month, let me know.
What’s next? Several of us met with Church World Service (CWS) in August to discuss sponsoring a third family. As you must know from news reports, the number of immigrants being allowed in the country has greatly diminished. CWS expects to get about 60 individuals to be placed over the next fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
The earliest we will welcome a family is late September, but most likely it won’t be until October. CWS expects we could get a family from Eritrea (on the east coast of Africa near Ethiopia) or Pakistan. The CWS representative asked us to consider what nationality and religious groups we think we could best support. The RAMP steering committee will be meeting after Labor Day to discuss this. If you have thoughts, please feel free to be in touch with me.
When the new family does arrive, it will again be all hands on deck to prepare to welcome them. I know you will again step up to this challenge. Fortunately, we do have a team ready to support this third family; it is being led by Tom Graham.
You are truly doing God’s work by supporting these families. Please know that they send boundless love and thanks for all you have done. Stand by for our new friends who will be arriving soon!
August 7, 2018
The Tarakji Family receives their Green Cards. Read more: mailchi.mp
July 9, 2018:
‘No them, only us’: Morristown celebrates its first Diversity Day
Adnan Tarakji, a Syrian immigrant, performing the Mevlevi (Whirling Dervish) Dance at Diversity Day 2018 in Morristown.
Photo by Carly Cannavina.
June 15, 2018:
Dear RAMP Members and Friends,
I would like to bring you up-to-date on RAMP’S plan for sponsoring a third refugee family. The plan was decided at the June 7th membership meeting.
As you may recall, we had decided to wait until we were in a position to accept a third family. That meant that we had to have a member who could act as a Family Coordinator, responsible to guide the new family through the process of beginning their new life in America.
One of our RAMP members, Tom Graham, a member of the Dover-Randolph Friends Meeting, stepped forward and agreed to serve as the Coordinator for our third family. Tom has had experience, having been a member of the support team that welcomed our second family, Akhtar and Nargis Muniri.
However, in addition to requiring a Family Coordinator, we also knew that we needed two individuals, or organizations (churches, mosques, synagogues or temples) who would take the responsibility to act as coordinator in the areas of (1) Health Care Services as well as (2) Social Services.
Presently we are seeking two volunteers who could fill these spots. The basic responsibilities for both would be to connect the family members to health care services and social service. For the Health Care Coordinator, this usually involves arranging medical and dental appointments for each of the family members, arranging transportation, and in the beginning, accompanying them to and from their appointments.
The responsibility of the Social Services Coordinator is arranging for appointments with various agencies that the family is required to visit. This includes arranging for them to obtain social security, temporary assistance, motor vehicle ID’s and, where applicable, green cards. As in the case of the Health Care Coordinator, the Social Services Coordinator will also be responsible for arranging transportation as well as accompanying them to their social services appointments.
For anyone interested in volunteering for one of these coordinator jobs, please contact Tom Graham, at (973) 627-0651 or email him here: Tom Graham, firstname.lastname@example.org
I can assure anyone or any group who is willing to take on this responsibility that they will have the full support needed from those who have been through this process with our first two families.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Gerry Gannon, RAMP Coordinator
April 25, 2018 – Spring 2018 Update on our Families (Word Doc)
December 12, 2017 – End Of 2017 Updates (PDF)
July 31, 2017 – RAMP Family Update - Summer 2017 (PDF)
June 10, 2017 – RAMP Family Update - Spring 2017 (PDF)
April 1, 2017 – Refugee Assistance Morris Partners (RAMP) celebrates the arrival of the Tarakji family from Syria to Morris County
A video of Mr. Tarakji's Mevlevi (Whirling Dervish) dance performance can be found here
March 16, 2017 – Hearing the Cry of the Poor: Catholics join faith communities in Morris County to resettle Syrian refugee family
March 6, 2017 – Statement from Refugee Assistance Partners (RAP) of Scotch Plains and Fanwood, NJ, on the March Executive Order (Word file)
February 1, 2017 – RAMP update on our Syrian family
The family continues to settle in and adjust to life in their new home. Two of the children, ages 6 and 8, are enrolled in school. The 18-year- old son has a job in a pizza parlor. The father, who has a construction background, has had some temporary jobs and is seeking something more permanent. The mother, who has worked as a hairdresser, may seek a job in that field or in something else. A most urgent need is to find employment for the father. Anyone with job leads should contact RAMP at email@example.com.
RAMP volunteers have been busy helping the family with social services, medical needs, and education. The entire family has been undergoing intensive English as a Second Language instruction. There is an urgent and continuing need for more drivers, tutors and translators. Since the family does not drive, a RAMP volunteer must take them to all of their appointments. Translators also are needed on a regular basis for all their interactions with social service agencies, doctors, dentists, etc. Volunteers in these areas may contact RAMP at firstname.lastname@example.org on the website at www.rampnj.org.
Finally, a dinner is planned for April 1 at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship to meet and honor the family. More details will be forthcoming.
January 31, 2017 – Statement from RAMP on presidential executive order on refugees
RAMP stands strongly against the president's Executive Order limiting or banning entry of vetted refugees into the United States. Our organization will continue to be supportive of the courageous and inspirational family we welcomed to our country last November. In anticipation of better days ahead, RAMP will continue to advocate for refugee families, raise funds to support them, train our volunteers to help them, and be there to welcome them when they arrive at their safe new home in New Jersey. RAMP members will stay hopeful and strong.
January, 2017 – Syrian refugees settle into their new home (long) (PDF)
January, 2017 – Syrian refugees settle into their new home (short) (PDF)
November 24, 2016 – News Article on First Thanksgiving for Syrian family in Morris
October 31, 2016 – Refugee Assistance Morris Partners ready to sponsor one or more refugee families (PDF)