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Starting a new life in the United States - whether by choice or by necessity - is no small feat. Learning the language, navigating the legal system, figuring out how to access and afford critical health care, and keeping your children in school is more than even the most capable among us can handle all at once. For those individuals arriving here with nothing after fleeing their home countries due to violence or persecution this task of building a safe and stable new life becomes even harder.

CAO is thrilled to be launching the Refugee Community Integration Project this month. Through this innovative initiative we aim to promote and assure the successful integration of refugee communities as they seek to make the U.S.A. their new home and provide refugee communities with improved capacity and opportunity to grow.  

Based on our extensive history and experiences with diverse refugee communities, CAO has created a powerful methodology for organizing ethnic communities of immigrants and refugees in Colorado. We focus specifically on supporting the unique integration journeys of each community’s members. We provide training, technical assistance and peer-to-peer networking opportunities for individuals and groups representing various refugee communities of Colorado.

People from all over the world are striving to build a new home in Colorado. We are currently working closely with refugee communities from Bhutan, Burma, and the Great Lakes region of Africa. This new initiative will only serve to broaden our impact.

The Refugee Community Integration Project will include technical assistance to each selected community, involve participation in a learning community of other refugee community leaders, and provide a basis of credibility and experience that empowers each refugee community to increase its independence and sustainability.

We are currently inviting communities from across Colorado to participate in the Project. Interested communities should email Derek White (derekw@caoden.org) to learn more about the project as well as apply to participate.

Join us in our efforts to equip Colorado to better support immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers. It’s hard to build a new life, but together we can make it a little bit easier.