Women of the World is a women refugee service non-profit responsible for service and capacity building for our new neighbors in Salt Lake City Utah. Our podcast is a place where 'our ladies' can share their stories and aspirations and where we can highlight activities important to refugees and service providers.
Women of the World Staff September 2021 Update
WoW Midsummer 2021 Podcast Outline
Women of the World today New Faces Pandemic, Vaccine, and The New Normal Afghanistan Support What it means to be forcibly displaced…
Women of the World Today
I want to open up the conversation today by introducing the people on today’s podcast. Why don’t you let people know your first name, how long you’ve been with WoW, and how you come to human rights advocacy work…
As you can tell, Women of the World is made of some diverse voices working to overcome the critical needs of the women we serve. Maybe each of you could talk briefly about a case that you are handling that goes to the heart of what forcibly displaced women are facing today.
Pandemic, Vaccine, and the New Normal
Let’s talk about the impact of the pandemic and the economic recession of 2020 on our community. What lasting impacts do you think it has had on the forcibly displaced community?
There is a lot of bad information out there in our community on the vaccine. Here are the facts:
The controlled, scientific clinical trials of both Moderna and Pfizer had over 70,000 participants—none of whom died from the vaccine or side effects of the vaccine. All other vaccines released to use by the general public have been completely tested and show very few harmful side effects. Since the vaccine has been made available to emergency use, there have been few if any confirmed deaths from these vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine has full FDA approval, many other vaccines have emergency approval and are moving toward full approval. The vaccine is extremely successful in reducing the impact of the virus. Most of the vaccines have greater than 90% likelihood of eliminating symptoms from contracting the virus. The vaccine currently has this high efficiency with the new delta variant strains. Not getting the vaccine puts others at risk now, including children; but also puts the whole population at risk of introducing a vaccine-resistant strain and starting the pandemic all over again.
As America left Afghanistan and the Taliban claimed control of the country by force, many of the people of Afghanistan began fleeing. Furthermore, we have heard horrible stories of revenge and mistreatment of the family members of our clients. Like in any crisis of forcibly displaced people, we have a moral obligation to support some of those in harm’s way. Let’s discuss a bit about what we have heard about the situation from those that have families there.
Our community in Utah is so heartfelt and giving. As the situation escalated, WoW had many calls wondering how to help. At this point, we have more need to fund case management to fill out resettlement paperwork for the family members of those already clients of WoW. While in-kind support like gift cards or offers of volunteering are always helpful, the biggest impact remains monetary donations at womenofworld.org/donate
What it means to be forcibly displaced
I want to end today to open up the discussion on what it means to be forcibly displaced and the impact that WoW and its partners have on our new neighbors finding refuge here. There is so much misinformation to overcome, so in the next few minutes, give me your first hand experience with forcibly displaced people, their work ethic, community development, efforts to learn English and anything else you can think to tell someone who maybe hasn’t spent as many hours as you with refugees and asylum seekers and other immigrants fleeing violence.
WoW COVID19 Zoom Chat
Founder and Executive Director Samira Harnish gets together (virtually) with a few women leaders from the forcibly displaced community in Utah to discuss their experiences with COVID-19, the economic recession, and the distinct needs of women during the pandemic. Also on the call, Anju Thapaliya from Nepal who is a Lead Medical Technologist at ARUP Laboratories, Taiba Amer from Iraq an Electrical Engineer working at Vivint Solar, and Sarah Alsahyem also from Iraq an engineer studying business in Utah.
McKenzie's Going Away - Lessons from our Chief Case Manager
Women of the World is sad to lose one of its "best and brightest" as McKenzie goes back to school to develop skills to help on the policy side of social service. McKenzie shares her experience with Women of the World clients, gives insights on the needs of forcibly displaced women, and guides us on the simple ways in which anyone can help refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers--just by being their friend.
Ep16 - WoW Podcast - Samira Harnish, 2018 UNHCR Nansen Finalist
WoW Executive Director Samira Harnish speaks with podcast producer Emily Means about Harnish's recent recognition by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Harnish was honored as a 2018 Nansen Refugee Award finalist, representing the Americas region.
They discuss what it means for the organization to be recognized at the international level; how to continue to support refugees in the community; and the annual celebration on December 8.
WoW Refugee Podcast - Rzan
WoW executive director Samira Harnish and board member Mary Dickson are joined by Rzan, who was awarded the title of "Mother of the Year" during the WoW Mother's Day celebration in May. Rzan and her husband, Nour, describe their story of coming to the United States from Syria with their five children, three of whom have disabilities. Rzan shares her experience in America and her dream of opening a school.
During this episode, Harnish translates on behalf of Rzan and Nour, who speak Arabic.
WoW Refugee Podcast - Vestine
WoW Executive Director Samira Harnish and board member Mary Dickson are joined by Vestine, a refugee originating from Rwanda and Burundi. She shares the story of how she and her children came to Utah, her dream of running her own boutique and how she found services--and friends--through Women of the World.