WHAT DOES CVRAN DO?
WORK WITH REFUGEES
Most new Vermonters who are refugees were admitted to Vermont before 2016 and come from Bosnia, Bhutan, Burundi, Rwanda, Vietnam, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, and Russia. They live in and near Colchester, Winooski, Burlington, and Rutland. In cooperation with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, CVRAN is committed to helping these refugees adapt to life in Vermont. In addition CVRAN evaluates housing, employment, and educational opportunities in Central Vermont to assist refugees who might join our communities now and in years to come.
ASYLUM SEEKERS ASSISTANCE NETWORK (ASAN)
In response to the growing crisis of families seeking asylum, CVRAN formed the local Asylum Seekers Assistance Network (ASAN) in 2019. The goal is to offer support to individuals and families moving to Central Vermont while seeking asylum. ASAN is a broad-based support network of local volunteers that assist asylum seekers with housing, food, medical care, language interpretation, transportation, legal counsel, and other services as needed while they move through the legal process and await final decisions on their requests for asylum.
Since October 2019 ASAN has been hosting an asylum seeking South American family of four in the Montpelier area. We recently began hosting three additional asylum seekers from Africa and South America, and are offering support to an asylum seeker from Africa living in Lamoille County.
Those wishing to participate in the sponsorship of our asylum seeking guests may make donations or pledge recurring financial support of $50 per month. Please send to: CVRAN, P.O. Box 910, Montpelier, VT 05601, with “ASAN” in the memo line. Or visit our donation page and specify ASAN as the designation.
WORK WITH MIGRANT FARM WORKERS
Large dairy farms in Addison, Chittenden, and Washington Counties would be unable to produce milk without the labor of migrant workers from Mexico and Central America. These undocumented laborers receive low wages and face poor working conditions, inadequate housing, and arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In cooperation with Migrant Justice, an organization formed by and for farm workers, CVRAN members tutor migrants at local dairy farms and provide instruction, transportation, activities, and friendship. Twice a year CVRAN hosts the Mexican Consulate from Boston in providing Mexican migrant workers with identity documents, legal advice, and medical care.
PAST AND ONGOING PROJECTS
We advocate for the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrant farm workers and for policies that will create security and a positive living situation for newly arriving Vermonters. CVRAN interacts with legislators and state and local agencies to promote these goals, and works to connect new Vermonters to elected officials. Our advocacy has included the release of detained migrant workers, Vermont’s Fair and Impartial Policing law, Montpelier’s Sanctuary City policy, and the Social Equity in Vermont’s Schools bill.
CVRAN brings groups of new Vermonters from Chittenden and Rutland Counties to Central Vermont to visit the State House, the Vermont History Museum, and additional sites of interest. We also facilitate introductions with elected officials and host meals and other shared events with New Vermonters. We raise funds and distribute welcome gifts of a cutting board and kitchen knives to each new family resettling in Vermont. In addition we distribute Oxford picture dictionaries and other language learning materials to help in the acquisition of English.
English Language Support
Our members work as conversation partners and provide language tutoring that refugees, asylum seekers, and migrant workers need to interact with state agencies, organizations, and employers.
Build Bridges with local Vermont Communities
CVRAN sponsors public forums with films, panels, and speakers; and social events and publications to create awareness, and familiarize and connect local communities with the cultures, history, and experiences of New Vermonters.
Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Immigrants in Vermont: Present Realities and Steps toward a Brighter Future, February 2021
Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis at Our Borders, June 16, 2019
Courage and Compassion at the Southern Border, May 1, 2019
Borders and Walls: Current Challenges for Refugees and Migrants in Vermont, June 15, 2018
Que Nochebuena: addressing the plight of Guatemalan immigrants, February 24, 2018
Hosting of Mexican Consulate Visit in Montpelier:
Mexican citizens received identification documents, healthcare, legal advice, June 20, 2019
Cultural Sensitivity Education
We sponsor events that increase understanding of new Vermonters’ cultures through visits to mosques, temples, churches, festivals, and neighborhoods, and through informal personal and social dialogue.
COLLABORATION / PARTNERSHIPS
CVRAN works in cooperation with other organizations such as the U.S. Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (Vermont Refugee Resettlement program), Migrant Justice, American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont, Association of Africans Living in Vermont, Green Mountain Bhutanese Organization, the Mexican Consulate in Boston, UVM Migrant Education, Bridges to Health, Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Montpelier Public Schools, Vermont Adult Learning, Community College of Vermont, Refugee and Immigrant Service Providers Network, and the Islamic Center of Vermont, Vermont, New Hampshire Asylum Seeker Support Network, Angry Tias and Abuelas, Asylum Seekers Support Network.
Central Vermont Refugee Action Network Board of Directors:
President: Hope Crifo
Co-Vice Presidents: Priscilla Fox, Lucy Wollaeger
Treasurer: Renée Ancel
Secretary: Wendy Dale