The AAWE Community-wide Refugee Task Force was founded in 2016 in a spirit of generosity and a desire to enrich the lives of others while also enriching our own lives.

Today, the Task Force provides a forum for cross-organizational connections and information-sharing, allowing resources to be quickly identified to fill the evolving needs of those arriving from distant and often dangerous places to begin new lives in our community.

Participating Associations:

Association of American Women in Europe, Every Child is a Gem, Compassion Without Borders, Association Pierre Claver, American Library in Paris, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris, American Church in Paris, American Cathedral,  FAWCO.
We welcome connections from everyone, both individuals and representatives of associations.

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These photographs of snow-covered tents on quai Jemmapes and Afghan asylum seekers huddled around a fire on quai Valmy were taken in the 10th arrondissement of Paris by photographer Kim Powell. Kim has been recording the migrant crisis since it unfolded on her doorstep in the 10th arrondissement in July 2016 when 2500 people were evacuated at the M-Jaures and she began serving breakfasts with an association in the neighbourhood.

Kim says of her selection of photos: "It's very hard for me to choose just 3, but I hope the images of the snow scenes evoke a certain sense of urgency. They tell the story of what's going on on the ground... right now. This is especially poignant since President Macron promised that there would be no people in the streets at the end of the year. It is shocking given the extreme weather, that these camps still exist here as well as others dispersed in the 18th arrondissement and St Denis. A recent count from Paris Refugee Ground Support noted that there were approximately 1300 asylum seekers in the streets."

Thank you Kim for sharing your art and journalistic sensibility with us.

Quai de Valmy, 10th arrondissement, Paris

This is our home.

Dear Concerned Citizens,

Whatever our arrondissement, or département, or pays d'origine, we all feel implicated by the striking verity Kim Powell's lens thrusts into our view with these snow covered tents on Paris' streets.

In this "Emergency Aid" issue of Connections, we aim to help join donors and associations like Compassion without Borders and the Eglise Saint Bernard and engage activism to meet the basic needs of thousands of people currently living in abject conditions on the streets in Paris. (As I write this, the tally of homeless taken by 2000 volunteers on the streets of Paris during the night of February 15th is being added up in the Paris City Hall.)

While our eyes and hands and consciences seek ways we can help to correct this situation, an uplifting tone sounds from our friends at the American Library of Paris  who have launched an initiative to bring the library's resources to families and students in need. This project is harmonious to the Task Force's goal to "enrich the lives of others while also enriching our own lives" by providing an opportunity to connect everyday people across cultural and linguistic divides.

To inspire us to action, we share with you excerpts from an article about Paris Refugee Ground Support, a pair of concerned European citizens who have dedicated their lives to bringing food and warm clothing to people living on Paris' streets. This article comes from an on-line catalogue of stories: Their Story is Our Story, which we encourage you to peruse for further inspiration and ideas. On a broader scale, we hope you will take the time to watch the Amnesty International video that Grace Chrisovasilis shares with us from Greece (more information on the special relationship that we have developed with Grace, Laurie Richardson and FAWCO will come in a future edition).

Three new movies: the internationally mediatized Human Flow, filmed by Chinese artist and refugee, Ai WeiWei; Un jour ça ira, a documentary filmed in the recently closed Archipel homeless center in the 17th arrondissement of Paris which shows a young boy's discovery of creative writing (last May the news publication Liberation published pieces from the imaginations of the children living in the now-closed Archipel); and Une Saison en France, a fiction by Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun who weaves the tale of a family as it recomposes itself across cultural divides.  

 A short selection of articles about politics and programs concerning the refugee crisis in France.

And finally, think about joining a group of Task Force members who have signed up for the on-line class International Migrations: A global issue which treats the role of migration today in a world-wide context, in the European context and in the French context. The course is offered by Sciences Po' and begins this Monday, February 19th. Let me (Clara) know if you sign up and we'll get a discussion group going.

No matter what your capacity of engagement, I hope that these indications will inspire you to bring your time and talents to friends who are in dire need within our own beloved community.

With love from Paris.

Read the full Connections Newsletter from Feb 2018 at https://us16.campaign-archive.com/?u=c6f81e070557155a728d84939&id=bd05ff63d3

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