What Does CVRAN Do?

Work with Refugees

High Fives for Championship Game!
High Fives for Championship Game!

Some Afghan families, evacuated by U.S. forces in August 2021 when the Taliban came to power, are now living in Vermont. CVRAN, working with the Vermont branch of the U.S. Committee on Refugees and Immigrants – USCRI – and with committed local residents, has been part of the support network in settling six Afghan families, consisting of 12 adults and 22 children, in Montpelier.

As a part of this partnership, CVRAN, is assisting with locating and facilitating both short-term and more permanent housing, primarily in rental apartments and houses. CVRAN volunteers are a part of the support of the Afghan families located here, for example providing transportation to medical appointments,shopping and religious services. Volunteers have helped register the children in the local schools and the adults in basic English language classes.  They have helped with opening bank accounts, obtaining drivers’ licenses, and finding employment. The goal is to help our New Vermonters obtain as much self-sufficiency as possible.

Work with Asylum Seekers

A lesson in English
A lesson in English

Since 2019 CVRAN has offered support to individuals and families who moved to Central Vermont while seeking asylum. We have a broad-based support network of local volunteers who 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. We have hosted asylum seekers from South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Again, self-sufficiency is the goal.

Work with Migrant Farm Workers

A family getting papers for their newborn child
A family getting papers for their newborn child. – photograph by Terry Allen

Large dairy farms in Vermont would be unable to produce milk without the labor of migrant workers from Mexico and Central America. These undocumented laborers may receive low wages and face poor working conditions, inadequate housing, and arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In cooperation with Migrant Justice, a Burlington based organization formed by and for farm workers, CVRAN members have tutored migrants at local dairy farms and provided instruction, transportation, activities, and friendship. Once a year CVRAN hosts the Mexican Consulate from Boston in providing Mexican migrant workers with identity documents, legal advice, and medical care.

 

 

 

 

Central Vermont Refugee Action Network Board of Directors:

President: Rachel Cogbill
Vice President: Kathie O’Connor
Treasurer: Don Welch
Secretary: Diane Fitch
Hope Crifo
Edwin Godfrey
Sarah Hofmann
Rebecca Plummer
David Stapleton