RAA’s mission is to help displaced persons lacking a support network navigate life in the U.S., primarily through in-home English tutoring and community events.
RAA supports underserved refugee populations in South Florida, mainly refugees from Syria. Our non-religious, non-political organization provides volunteer tutors and mentors to help these families learn basic English and provide other assistance as needed. We also sponsor cultural programming and special events to help families navigate their new home and learn about their new culture.
Our refugee families often tell us their tutors become like family to them and vice versa.
RAA program goals are English language acquisition and self-sufficiency for all refugees. Ultimately, we hope our program promotes peace and understanding among the people of South Florida.
Out of respect for our families' religious values and cultural traditions, we do not share images of their faces in non-RAA-controlled public venues unless explicitly given permission to do so. We hope you understand.
A display of some of the food at a recent Taste of Syria event. The food is always incredible, but it's the community-building nature of these dinners that we love the most.
English Tutoring Program
Language acquisition is paramount to refugees’ ability to integrate well into a new culture, including finding and keeping employment, and learning societal functions such as driving, paying bills, navigating family healthcare, communicating with their children’s teachers and schools, helping children with homework, and making friends. RAA provides families with the language and practical skills necessary to succeed in the United States.
RAA is especially dedicated to helping mothers with English language acquisition. Many women are unable to attend established language programs outside of their homes for a variety of reasons such as cultural and/or religious traditions, scheduling conflicts, lack of transportation or lack of childcare. RAA meets this unique need by sending tutors into their homes. This helps women feel more comfortable as they learn English. Lessons are individualized to meet the needs of our students. Our goal is to help mothers learn basic English to help transition her family to their new culture and life.
RAA is also dedicated to helping refugee children. Our tutors spend hundreds of hours working on homework and school projects with the kids in our families. We believe that children can overcome the many hurdles they face with a little extra care and dedication.
A Taste of Syria
As a consequence of the worst refugee crisis since War World II, dozens of Syrian families have resettled in South Florida. Due to their limited English language skills and their unfamiliarity with the culture, these families have struggled to find employment and adjust to life in our community.
A group of South Florida women of different backgrounds and religions decided to ease their struggle by hosting dinners as a means of bridging the cultural divide.
RAA’s roots are in A Taste of Syria (Syrian Supper Club), a program created to empower and initiate cooking opportunities for Syrian refugee women in South Florida. These meals foster cross-cultural understanding and build peace between communities. Individuals and organizations in South Florida have hosted dozens of luncheons and dinner parties where the traditional food is entirely prepared by the refugee women in our program. These meals provide an amazing opportunity for friends, neighbors, colleagues, church members, etc., to share a wonderful meal while meeting some of their new Syrian neighbors and learning about their culture and experiences. Regardless of race, religion, language, or culture, food is a universal language that unites us all.
RAA has determined that our families require a lot of practical (not financial) support which has largely been provided by our tutors. As they navigate a new culture with limited language skills, they often encounter challenges with work, school, transportation arrangements, medical needs, public assistance, understanding mail, etc. We are working to create a network of people who have or will develop some practical expertise in these and other areas and who will assist the refugees as needed. The Referral System will serve as a one-stop shop for expertise and referrals in the South Florida community in order to best meet the various needs of our families.