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The mission of SSCW is to provide support to the young men and women from Southern Sudan residing in Washington as they adjust from life in their country to living in the United States while seeking to achieve self-sufficiency. SSCW is a service organization formed to improve the opportunities, education, and quality of life for the local, resettled Sudanese population by providing encouragement, cultural affirmation, and support during their journey in transitioning to life in the United States.
The people from Southern Sudan have come to the United States not only to find a better place to live, but to become contributing members of society here. Resettled Sudanese refugees arrive in the U.S. and are exposed to a land and language completely foreign from their own. Their limited knowledge of English and a society where the skills and experience from their previous life are difficult to translate to a livable wage-paying job is an all too common reality.
Like many immigrant and refugee populations, Sudanese refugees need to develop some command of the language and job skills to survive, then establish a foundation that will then enable them to pursue education and employment opportunities in America.What is somewhat distinct about the majority of those in the community we serve today, however, is that Sudanese refugees in America today are pioneers. Resettled Sudanese are establishing a community in the U.S. for the first time and are encountering a society previously unexposed to their obscure tribal languages, and picking up the pieces of what their war-torn home country has left for them. As a result, life outside of Africa -once unimaginable and surreal- becomes all too real: some Sudanese have never seen a flushing toilet, running water or a dollar bill. They do not know the answers to these new questions -where do I go for public assistance? how do I use public transit? how do I use a telephone? where do I go to find housing, a job, or food? how do I keep warm in the winter? Many are dealing with those left behind in their villages or as refugees in other African countries, as well as the loss of friends, family members and their country. They are unfamiliar with the American way of life, and miss their own culture, food and communities.
The Southern Sudanese Community of Washington is a nonprofit organization established by the community it serves that helps refugees from the Southern Sudan & beyond as they adjust to American life and work towards self-sufficiency. The SSCW is based in Seattle and relies in part upon existing organizations and resources for assistance to its community members.
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