How DARA works
Initially, we assist refugee families for 4 to 6 months while they establish themselves with jobs, enroll in school and become familiar with life in America. With the help of Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), we cosponsor these refugee families and help acclimate and acculturate them to a new life and country. What sets us apart from the other IRIS-approved groups in Connecticut is that to date, we are the only unaffiliated group in our state; we have no social organization or congregation providing financial backing or support. The goal of cosponsorship is to help each family in the short term as they get used to their new lives, and to also empower them with the tools — both financial and social — to become self-sufficient within half a year.
The long-term stage of resettlement is an ongoing commitment. Our group will be a part of these families’ lives well into the future, not just in helping them in the short term. The ultimate goal of resettlement is to help families become part of our community as full, contributing members of American society. This commitment is our way of investing in the viability our country and in the health, safety and well-being of people who have endured violence, intolerance and upheaval the likes of which most of us will never experience.
How you can help
Volunteers are the backbone of any nonprofit, and DARA welcomes volunteers of all abilities. Please visit our Volunteer page to get involved, and our Donations page for more information on ways to help.
Who We Are
DARA has come a long way since its inception in October of 2015. Originally a collection of neighbors — strangers to one another before our first meeting — hoping to help those in need, we’ve grown into an official nonprofit organization and have resettled our first refugee family in our community.
Our members are all volunteers, and our committees for Acculturation, Education and Employment, to name just a few, are working constantly to ensure that our first family, and those to follow, are contributing members of our community and America.
DARA also works with other local refugee resettlement organizations to exchange ideas and resources. We believe that the more people help one another, the better we can all help the less fortunate.
You can find more information on DARA in the Danbury News-Times:
Connecticut opens arms to refugees
“Ordinary” people step up to help refugees
Danbury event to benefit refugees
Why a group of strangers came together to help others
And the Episcopal Church’s One United People webcast:
One United People
If you’re a member of the media and would like to speak with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.