Lighthouse Charities has been working really hard preparing a space for their newest program that will bring many unemployed refugees into employment. They have partnered with the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services to create a program that will count towards the hours needed for refugees to keep their benefits.
The first 1-2 years are the most difficult for refugees as they face many barriers with language, cultural differences, transportation, lack of education, and more. For this reason, we have created an innovative program that will employ the unemployable in order to prepare them for better jobs in the future.
And all they would have to do is cut towels... yes, you heard that right!
We have the benefit of living in the Entertainment Capital of the World where we are surrounded by hotels and casinos. Maybe you've wondered how they cycle through all their hotel products such as soaps, bedding, AND towels.
This will not only provide paying jobs for refugees, but also provide a way for them to gain job skills and experiences. We have learned that many of our refugees lack basic knowledge of very simple things such as how to use a spray bottle, how to use a mop, how to clock in for work, etc. These are all things that have often been deprived of them their entire lives while living in a third world country, and because many of them spend at least half, if not all, their lives in a refugee camp where living conditions are so poor, many die every day from starvation and disease.
And yet, MANY of our refugees come with college degrees or some other form of higher education. We have helped refugees who were doctors, judges, pilots, and engineers in their own countries. We know refugees here who speak multiple languages, who did translation work for the US military, who were professors at Universities, and teachers in the refugee camps. We met a refugee from Africa who received a Masters Degree in Accounting, but is working at McDonald's in order to keep food on the table. Imagine how difficult it must be for them to leave all that behind, and start over with so little.
We hope to create an online Job Section on our website where refugees can create their own "Job Profile" with their listed experiences, skills, and education in order to make contacts with potential employers.
We also hope to utilize this program to give our community more service opportunities. For example, if you come across a job profile where a refugee was a doctor in his own country and you just so happen to be a working doctor here in the States, and you think to yourself, "you know, I could easily help this person sign-up for the right classes at school and I could show him the step-by-step process on how he could become a doctor here in the states," would you do it if you had the time?
College students, would you be willing to make friends with a refugee preparing to graduate high school, and help them sign-up/study for the SAT/ACT, or give them a tour of the CSN/UNLV campuses, or help them fill out their FAFSA?
These are all skills that we Americans know so well, but we might not know how difficult it is for our local refugees to find out how to do these things.
If you have any questions or are interested in serving within this capacity OR if you are a potential employer, please contact Charity at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.