The Refugee Well-being Project (RWP) is an annual, 9-month long program pairing undergraduate students from the University of New Mexico with refugee families in the mobilization of community resources and mutual learning.
In the Fall semester, students spend the first three months (August-November) in the classroom learning about practical skills and theoretical concepts related to the refugee experience, such as cross-cultural communication, teaching English as a second language, community resource mapping, needs assessment, advocacy, social inequality, and more.
Learning Circles, which are based on a similar model at the Jane Addams School for Democracy, begin in November and are held each week for two hours at a local community center. The Project provides child care and transportation for refugee families.
Students assist their partners with things like navigating government systems for healthcare, insurance and financial assistance, education and professional re-certification, and housing.
The learning is two-way; students learn about aspects of their own society that they may not have known and are often welcomed into social events and for meals with their families, where they are exposed to new foods, customs, and ideas.
The Refugee Well-being Project (RWP) will have its second annual 5k run/walk “Around the World in 3.2” at 9:30 am on Sunday, April 14 at the UNM North Golf Course.
The 5k run/walk is open to all adults and children with prizes for the top 3 men, women, and youth finishers. All registration fees go directly toward RWP programs, which bring New Mexicans and newcomers with refugee status together to change the world one relationship at a time.
The event costs $20 for adults, $12 for students and kids, $0 for RWP refugee and student participants.