Friday, August 2, 2013

Burmese refugees getting help from Raleigh school


 A group of students from a Christian school in Raleigh is expanding its relationship with the Burmese refugees they're trying to help assimilate to life in the U.S.

 Students and teachers from Neuse Christian Academy hosted members of the Karen Thursday to kick off a series of English language classes which will include life skills coaching once a week for the next 12 weeks. The class is being funded through a grant provided by Belk, Inc.

 The refugees also met with retired Raleigh police officers, who will show them how to obtain a driver's license. The Burmese refugees have been granted temporary asylum in the U.S. after fleeing years of violence against their sect. Students from Neuse Christian organized a job fair to help the Karen find jobs, and worked with local businesses that pledged to hire as many of the refugees as possible.

So far, a spokesman for the school said eight people have landed full-time jobs. The students also have gotten help from lawmakers to provide immigration assistance. For their efforts, the students recently won first place in the national Belk Service Learning Challenge, an annual competition that encourages learning about core subjects while making a positive impact through service in their local community. Each student was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

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