A breaking fellowship, jobs in jeopardy, creative souls

M2D Newsletter (4/4/18)

Hello and good day,

First, some news, and then a quick video.

There are nine national nonprofits in the U.S. that work with the government to resettle refugees — that is, for now. You can imagine them a bit like the Fellowship of the Refugee…

How did my friend Jesse get there? Thought he was in a vacuum.

…and unfortunately, like the original nine-member fellowship, this one is breaking. The State Department announced last month that some resettlement agencies will lose their funding next year. This follows the government mandated closure of several dozen of these agencies’ local affiliates.

Why? One justification (found deep in here) is that slashing spending on refugees domestically enables the government to help more refugees overseas. However, the Trump administration proposed a 37% cut to State Department and USAID budgets, which means less assisting of refugees in places where ISIS is actively “using food as a weapon of recruitment.”

The administration also drastically cut aid to Palestinian refugees, one outcome of which is that thousands of people are at risk of losing their jobs. Related, in the States, resettlement agencies have to lay off employees, and employers are having trouble finding people to take jobs that refugees are typically more interested in than native-born Americans [NYT pay gate].


Speaking of jobs, I’ll show you an unseen snippet from my interview with a woman named Rukan, who’s from Damascus.

Now in Berlin, Rukan runs her own media design business and refers to herself as, “A creative soul looking for perfection.” Coincidentally, I’ve started saying the same thing when people at cocktail parties ask me who I am.

At one point in our conversation, I told Rukan that my five-year plan was to find all of my missing socks. As you can see by clicking on the video below, her reply revealed an unsurprising disparity in our ambitions.

Your precious,

Ben