Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Publication Location: WASHINGTON
Contact: Abby Henson   |   communications@worldlearning.org

World Learning is pleased to announce our membership in the Welcome Coalition, a group of nearly 150 nonprofit organizations helping to resettle Afghan newcomers in the United States.

The coalition is part of the larger Welcome.US community, a national initiative to unite and empower the American people to welcome and support refugees as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Operation Allies Welcome. The community is comprised of national resettlement agencies, Afghan-American organizations, nonprofits, businesses, veterans’ groups, universities, and former presidents and first ladies in a coordinated effort to meet the needs of Afghan refugees. Its work focuses on resettling newcomers, providing basic needs and services, advocating for human rights, and working with the Afghan diaspora.

In addition to the coalition, World Learning is also a member of the Welcome Campus Network, a group of 31 higher education institutions that share academic programming, scholarships, and other resources dedicated to the resettlement effort.

Earlier this month, World Learning launched a partnership with the national resettlement agency Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc. (ECDC) to resettle up to 100 Afghan evacuees in southern Vermont.

Through this innovative collaboration, World Learning, the parent organization of School for International Training (SIT), is dedicating space on its Brattleboro campus where new arrivals will live and learn for up to 90 days. In addition to housing, SIT’s Master of Arts in Teaching faculty and SIT Graduate Institute alumni are providing tailored English language and cultural orientation classes, while ECDC staff members provide case management and work to secure permanent housing.

Welcome.US’s partners vary in size, scope, and mission, ranging from UNHCR, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Special Olympics to Microsoft, Hasbro, and Pfizer. Joel Colony, vice president of external engagement and advocacy at World Learning, says this diverse and wide-ranging group is a great asset to the resettlement and integration effort on behalf of Afghan refugees.

“The Welcome Coalition and the Welcome Campus Network bring together an outstanding array of organizations and individuals, a dynamic ecosystem where World Learning and others can share best practices and lessons learned, and also ask questions to ensure we are providing the best possible support to Afghan refugees starting anew in communities across the United States,” Colony said. “Through our partnership with ECDC and our education program, we are committed to ensuring a supportive environment, showing our Afghan guests the United States at its best and helping them feel welcome and part of our community in southern Vermont.”

World Learning has a history of supporting refugees. From 1979 to 1996, it played a significant role in one of the most extensive refugee training programs in history. As part of a consortium with Save the Children, World Education, and resettlement agencies across the country, World Learning set up and managed programs for refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, leading the skills assessment, English language learning, cultural orientation programming, and curriculum development. The initiative resettled more than 250,000 refugees in third countries.

World Learning is a global organization made up of School for International Training, offering accredited undergraduate study abroad programs through SIT Study Abroad and internationally focused master’s degrees, certificate programs, and a doctorate through its SIT Graduate InstituteThe Experiment in International Living, the nation’s most experienced provider of intercultural exchange programs abroad and virtual for high school students; and World Learning, a global development and exchange nonprofit organization. The organization is now in its 90th year delivering international education, cultural exchanges, and sustainable development. For more information, visit www.worldlearning.org.