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AKArama Foundation to host April 10 fundraiser for United African Organization

Immigrants and refugees who leave their native country for opportunities in America often find difficulty acclimating, adjusting and surviving. Without a safety net, the promise of the American dream can devolve into a nightmare.

For those from Africa coming to Illinois, there is hope in The United African Organization (UAO), an African Refugee Center. This agency, based at 4910 S. King Drive in Bronzeville, has emerged as a haven where African immigrants and refugees can find opportunities, support and guidance.

The United African Organization is a dynamic coalition of African community-based organizations that promote social and economic justice, civic participation, and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees in Illinois.  It boasts an array of programs and initiatives that serve 400 immigrant and refugees yearly. They hail from a host of countries on the continent of Africa. Among them are Nigeria, the Congo, Uganda, Liberia, Ghana, Senegal and Kenya.

UAO’s mission aligns with the goals of the Global Impact Committee, which is under the AKArama Foundation–Theta Omega chapter’s charitable arm. The Committee’s objective is to focus on programming designed to enhance the international footprint of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Because UAO’s mission matches the Global Impact Committee’s purpose, the AKArama Foundation is partnering with the organization to raise funds so it can continue its work. The fundraiser, themed “Around the World Tea” is part of the Foundation’s Global Impact Day. It will be held virtually on Saturday, April 10 from 1-3 PM. Those interested in participating can register at ea2021

In explaining the significance of Global Impact Day and the fund- raiser, Veletta L. Bell, president of the AKArama Foundation, declared: “Our Refugee in America Assistance Program (RAAP) focuses on refugees of color in the United States by partnering with organizations engaged in support activities that assist refugees and their families to integrate into American life. The United African Organization fits that profile perfectly.”

Because of its commitment to raise the hopes of all immigrants, the AKArama Foundation’s reach and fundraising will include those from Mexico, India and Croatia.

According to Dr. Alva Batey Stepancic, chairman of the Global Impact Committee, the afternoon will feature fun, food, fundraising and facts. It will shine a light on customs from the various countries with a focus on the diverse cultures and ethnicities embraced by them.

The Virtual Tea will also highlight global cuisine from Africa, India, Mexico and Croatia. Participants will learn to prepare Grilled Fish – Poisson Braise and Puf Puf, an African Doughnut; a dish from the Cameroons, Easy Fried Rice from India, Chilaquiles Verde, a Mexican dish, and Croatian Coleslaw.

AKArama Foundation Vice President Kimberley Egonmwan stated that the Foundation included the UAO in its recent King Day of Service outreach effort by providing families with 90 book bags. At the time, Egonmwan declared that “we hope that the contribution of backpacks will help the children with their education.” She added that the backpacks also served another purpose. “In many instances, immigrants are forced to transport their personal belongings by any means, including in garbage bags. By donating sturdy backpacks, our goal is to help them keep their belongings safe, private and protected.”

UAO Program Coordinator Stella Okere expressed gratitude for the gifts: “The back packs help our community parents by cutting at least one expense when trying to set their children up with a bright future.”

Among the vital services the UAO provides include:

  • Free legal consultation with an immigration attorney
  • Access to safety-net programs that support personal and family well-being, and economic self-sufficiency including Medical Assistance, Nutritional Assistance, Education, Disa- bility Benefits, Social Security/Supplemental Income Utility Assistance
  • Interpretation, outreach, education and advocacy to combat some of the most common barriers African immigrants and refugees including inability to communicate in English, and other cultural-specific barriers.
  • Intervention to stop deportations, when required

Summing up the Foundation’s resolve in partnering with UAO to host this fundraiser, Bell stated, “In the midst of uncertain times, Alpha Kappa Alpha members continue to serve all mankind with excellence in mind.

Global Impact Day serves to remind volunteers of our commitment to serve in our communities and beyond. As we provide service, it reminds us that we must make an impact globally to share and understand the importance of sharing hope, solidarity and harmony globally.”


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