What if you had to leave the only country you knew as home and, after years of waiting and struggle, arrived in a country where the challenges were immediate?
You don’t know the language, don’t have a job, don’t have much money and don’t understand the financial system. Did we mention you can’t find a place to live and your United States college degree isn’t recognized?
Panelists at the 2020 Virtual Community Block Party. From left to right; Claude Rwaganje, ED of ProsperityME; Mufalo Chitam, ED of the Maine Immigrant's Rights Coalition; Gael Karomba, Owner and President of Happy Haven LLC; Claudette Ndayininahaze - Co-Founder of In Her Presence; Gimbala Sankare, ProsperityME Board Member and Head of Global Talent Acquisition at WEX
Imagine also that there are people saying you aren’t welcome and coupled with the fact that this is happening during a deadly pandemic where over 18% of positive cases are people of color, despite comprising little more than one percent of the population. This is the unfortunate reality for Maine’s immigrants, like the following client who reached out to us for help when he found out he had COVID-19:
“When I tested positive for COVID-19 I was confused and didn’t know where to go or what to do. It was late when I called ProsperityME. I explained the situation I was going through – that my roommates did not want me to go inside the house for fear that I’d contaminate them. ProsperityME found quarantine placement for me at a local hotel. They interviewed me and immediately sent a taxi to pick me up. The support did not stop there—they helped me to successfully apply for and receive unemployment.”
ProsperityME staff distributing COVID-19 prevention kits to immigrant-owned area businesses in November of 2020.
As an immigrant-founded and led nonprofit, ProsperityME is passionate about the wellbeing of our community. Donors like you have helped us serve more than 200 individuals with unemployment and housing assistance, job skills training, small business support, and scholarships. So can we ask that you consider donating to ProsperityME this year?
"I will say that without ProsperityME, I’m not sure who I should have called. They made me feel better and protected my roommates and family.”
This was a challenging year, but we can heal together. All it takes is a community of people like you, willing to support our immigrant neighbors.
Executive Director, ProsperityME