WE ARE OVERCOMERS.
ConcordTV Interview – Executive Director, Clement Kigugu and Board Member, Leslie Van Berkum sit down for a conversation with Michael O’Meara from ConcordTV
Overcomers Refugee Services is a resource center for New Hampshire refugees and immigrants, particularly those in the greater Concord area. Overcomers provides ongoing practical support, education and cultural orientation through people who understand both the refugees’ language and culture of origin.
Refugees are placed in New Hampshire communities with the help of the local state resettlement agencies, provides new arrivals with comprehensive assistance for three months. Three months support is not enough to learn how to get along in a new society. Most refugees arrive with no belongings, don’t speak the language, don’t understand the culture, and they have lived with dislocation, terrible loss and fear for years.
In addition to offering a broad and continuing array of basic support services, Overcomers works with the refugee community to facilitate conciliation and healing and to build comfort with their new culture. We support and advocate for refugees in crisis. We create connection between new arrivals and the New Hampshire receiving community.
Overcomers works toward successful integration and independence for its refugee clients.
New Americans have come from hardship, persecution, war and famine, but they are resilient. Overcomers’ goal is to empower them to become leaders in their community and cultural ambassadors to their receiving community.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE:
Our staff and board of directors are focused on increasing our capacity to support new Americans in the most comprehensive and meaningful way. Our long term goals include development of formal conflict resolution and peace education programs, a detailed immigrant and refugee resettlement curriculum and comprehensive programs for engaging the refugee and receiving communities in meaningful partnership. Each of these programs will have tangible resources or manuals to be shared with partner organizations and other groups working with the new American communities. We want to increase opportunities for connections between the New Hampshire receiving community natives and new Americans in order to cultivate awareness, trust and relationships. We hope to strengthen connections between the diverse refugee groups in New Hampshire so they can provide support to each other and coordinate efforts to address similar needs within each group. We hope to foster stronger connections between the various refugee support organizations working in New Hampshire so that we can all work more effectively toward our common goals.