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Every three seconds, someone is forced from their home by violence, war, and persecution. Migration isn't a political or economic issue. It’s a humanitarian issue. 

It’s about people seeking better lives.

 United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We're vocal in the immigration conversation because the narrative must change. All of us must come together to provide jobs, education and support for people seeking greater opportunity.

Last year, United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher began visiting communities to learn more about what people are doing to support migrant families, their communities and each other.

United for Humanity: Migrant Opportunities

This video illustrates innovative approaches to job training that United Way and other organizations in Europe are developing to help migrants acclimate and build new lives. 

The work is inspiring. It’s bringing people together. And it's making a difference.

71

million people are displaced worldwide

25

million are refugees, fleeing persecution, conflict and violence

80%

of refugee crises last more than 10 years

Below you’ll find more stories and videos that show migration through the lens of humanity. 
#United for Humanity

 

El Paso, Texas

More than 65,000 migrants have traveled through El Paso in the last year. In a single week, the U.S. Border Patrol released some 6,600 asylum seekers to more than 20 migrant hospitality centers. That meant they were legally allowed to travel within the United States. But most were hungry, tired and sick.

At St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church in El Paso, a migrant welcome center staffed by volunteers is helping 60 asylum seekers a week get clothes, food and more.

The hospitality centers offer migrants a welcoming place to rest, shower, get clean clothes, food and water, medical services and more. United Way of El Paso County is leading the way to build volunteer capacity to support the centers. Volunteers handle check-in and check-out; prepare and serve meals; organize all in-kind donations of clothes, toiletries, food and more; arrange travel with sponsors; clean the resting and sleeping areas; and drive families and individuals to the bus station and the airport to meet up with their sponsors. This community has come together around migrants.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Nuhaa’s family had to leave Syria when it became too dangerous to stay. When she started school in Vancouver, eight-year-old Nuhaa was lonely, shy and sad. Language barriers created challenges at school. Low confidence was a mounting issue. 

Her mom discovered a local after-school program supported by United Way of the Lower Mainland. There, Nuhaa met Samantha, another young immigrant who’d faced similar challenges when she first came to Canada. Their shared love of art helped them connect. Nuhaa is now fluent in English, a confident student and a skilled painter. She’s gained self-esteem, settled into her new life in Canada – and she’s optimistic about the future. 

Nuhaa’s Story

VIDEO BY UNITED WAY OF THE LOWER MAINLAND

Portland, Oregon 

Lam Hoang moved to the Portland area 10 years ago from Vietnam, to join her husband. She knew only a few people in the Vietnamese community. After the birth of her first child, Lam’s loneliness grew and she became depressed.

But she connected with a parent educator at a United Way-supported agency, and got the help she needed. Today, Lam is confident in her parenting and leadership skills. She’s putting them to use navigating the local school system, and wants to make it easier for other immigrant families.

That’s why Lam joined the Parent Accountability Council, which governs United Way of the Columbia-Willamette's Early Learning Multnomah initiative. It addresses the biases and barriers children of color and immigrant families face. It brings the diverse voices of parents -- from African American, African immigrant, Asian, Latino, Native American and Slavic communities – together in a powerful way. And it ensures that the needs of all families are addressed.

THREE GENERATIONS OF FAMILY COME TOGETHER IN PORTLAND TO ENJOY FOOD FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES, PERFORMANCES AND ARTS AND CRAFTS.

Learn more


To learn more about what United Way is doing to help migrants, find your local United Way. Get updates on our migrant-focused initiative and share stories of hope on social media with the hashtag #UnitedforHumanity.