With its high population of recently resettled refugees, Clarkston, GA is a vibrant community—rich in diverse experiences, cultures, and by extension—foods. It is truly the melting pot of all melting pots. It’s also the home to our newest New Expression drop in site and will soon be our New Alternative program’s newest alternative break site— with its first service trips available March 12-18 and March 19-25, 2017.
Our new Alternative Break site is timely given that this week marks the fifth anniversary since the start of Syria’s civil war. The violence and destruction in Syria has forced more than half of the country’s residents to flee their homes, with 4.8 million crossing a border to become refugees and another estimated 7.6 million who are displaced from their homes and still living in Syria. This crisis has highlighted the plight of refugees around the world while also bringing fear and uncertainty to the countries they are fleeing to.
Fifty percent of Clarkston’s population is foreign-born and 85% of local businesses are owned by that same population. While the refugees’ experiences are incredibly diverse, they share two common attributes – they have all gone through the most rigorous screening process of any immigrant and they all share a hope for a brighter future.
Our Clarkston program will focus on education about refugee resettlement and opportunities to serve refugee youth and families. Students will learn about the humanitarian reasons for refugee resettlement and the challenges that come when new neighbors unite. Much like our program in Selma, this new site will also offer service projects in partnership with local organizations.
We will continue to offer our New Alternative program in its flagship location (Selma, Alabama) and are excited to expand from the unique civil rights immersion experience there and offer an additional option in Clarkston, GA.
Join us in Clarkston next spring to learn more about some of your newest neighbors. Contact our New Alternative Director Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information– space is limited so sign up early!