Tag Archives: Lutheran

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Questions Recent Decision to Suspend Services for Vulnerable Immigrant Youth

Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) October 8, 2009

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) questions the recent decision by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to suspend services for vulnerable immigrant youth and asks for an immediate review of the practice.

The passage of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008 enabled children in ORR custody who have been granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) to be admitted into a foster care program that would provide them with critical services such as case management, education, mental health counseling and job training. These children have been deemed by the state and ORR to have been neglected, abused or abandoned by a parent. However, last week ORR informed LIRS that it would temporarily stop admitting these minors into the program due to budgetary constraints. This decision leaves children in temporary ORR custody until their 18th birthday when they are faced with being placed into an adult detention facility or released to a homeless shelter without the necessary support services.

Acting LIRS President Anne P. Wilson explains, “When the government grants SIJS to children who have been subjected to domestic violence, abuse or neglect, the government acknowledges their particular vulnerability and provides them with a green card and makes them eligible for much needed services. Denying services to these minors will have a profound and lasting effect on their lives.”

As a result of this decision, minors in U.S. custody who have already been abandoned, abused and neglected by their families face abandonment once again with no possibility of the continued care or services they desperately need. Just this week two young men seeking SIJS protection turned 18 while in ORR custody. One was picked up by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and placed into an adult immigration detention facility. This is the very same detention system that DHS announced this week is in need of major reform. The other child is being relocated to a local homeless shelter. These young men who want to work hard to rebuild their lives in the United States are now left with no home, few rights and little recourse.

“For the sake of these migrant youth at risk, we strongly urge HHS to reconsider this decision,” states LIRS Vice President for Protection and Programs Susan Krehbiel. “We further ask that the administration review the implementation of the law and Congress consider the urgent funding needs of ORR to ensure the protection of these vulnerable children. These two young men who turned 18 this week have already aged out of their eligibility for the foster care program, but it is not too late for others still in ORR’s care.”

Each year LIRS serves unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children who arrive to the United States alone, without the protection and the loving care of a parent or guardian. Through its foster care and family reunification programs LIRS finds homes for these vulnerable migrant children and provides the support services necessary to help them grow up to be healthy, productive adults.

Since 1939 LIRS has created welcoming communities for America’s newcomers. It is one of the nation’s leading agencies serving refugees and immigrants. The organization resettles refugees, protects migrant children, advocates for just treatment of asylum seekers, seeks alternatives to immigration detention and stands for unity for families fractured by unfair laws. To learn more about LIRS’s work of welcome, please visit http://www.lirs.org.

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Lutheran World Relief, The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod and United Nations Foundation Announce $45 Million Campaign to Fight Malaria

Detroit, MI (PRWEB) June 30, 2011

Lutheran World Relief(LWR), The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod (LCMS) and the United Nations (UN) Foundation announced on Monday an unprecedented partnership to mobilize Lutherans in the United States in the fight against malaria in Africa.

The campaign, called the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI), aims to raise $ 45 million to contribute toward the global goal of eliminating malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, continues to devastate communities and perpetuate a cycle of poverty. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 1 million people die of malaria each year and every 45 seconds a child dies in Africa. In many communities where LWR and the LCMS work, extreme poverty creates conditions that allow malaria to take hold and spread with deadly consequence.

At a news conference held Monday at Detroits Historic Trinity Lutheran Church, leaders of the LMI partnership joined representatives from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), to announce the campaign and discuss the crucial role of churches and faith-based institutions in the effort to end malaria deaths.

Rev. John Nunes, president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, opened the news conference. I am excited to be here today with the LMI partners, Nunes said. This is a day that has been years in the making, and for which millions around the world have been waiting.

Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, spoke next. The Lutheran footprint for providing care and mercy to those suffering is enormous, Harrison said. For decades, we have been working with partners and fellow Lutherans at the end of the dirt road. Today, we are delighted to come alongside the LMI partners to take a huge bite out of this horrid disease.

Gloria Edwards, co-chair of the LMI National Campaign Cabinet, offered insights on her inspiration for becoming involved in the initiative. My husband and I believe in saying yes to the open doors God places before us, she said. We went to East Africa not long ago and saw a young woman in a malaria-induced coma. We also saw other young children who demonstrated how to use a bed net, and how to let their parents know when they are not feeling well so that they can be taken to the doctor. We are excited to be a part of helping more children and families know how to prevent malaria as well as what to do when they get sick with the disease.

In closing the news conference, Nicolas Demey, corporate partnerships officer with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said, It is an honor to work with LMI to help end malaria deaths in Africa. We have the tools and know what we need to do to end these needless deaths. We can do it.

Following Mondays news conference, Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation, added: Between 40 percent and 60 percent of health care in developing countries is provided by faith-based organizations, like our Lutheran partners, Calvin said. It is inspiring to see how the Lutheran community in the U.S. can help the UN reach families in rural villages on the other side of the world.

The news conference is available online at http://www.youtube.com/lutheranmalariavideo.

Lutheran World Relief (LWR)

Lutheran World Relief is an international nonprofit organization that works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the worlds most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners around the world, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.

LWR is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod (LCMS), individuals and parish groups in international relief, development, advocacy, and social responsibility.

The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod (LCMS)

The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1847, the church body, which ranks as one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. In addition, the LCMS owns and operates KFUO radio, two seminaries, and 10 colleges and universities. Its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America.

The LCMS has relationships and active mission work in some 88 countries around the world and, in the last five years, has awarded more than $ 35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster relief. Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with 33 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide and is a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social ministry organization serving one in every 50 Americans.

The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation)

The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turners historic $ 1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems. They build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources and advocate policy changes to support the UNs work for individual and global progress. The Foundations workfocused on select global problemsis decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund)

The Global Fund is a unique, public-private partnership and international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents an innovative approach to international health financing. The Global Funds model is based on the concepts of country ownership and performance-based funding, which means that people in countries implement their own programs based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing on the condition that verifiable results are achieved.

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main financier of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 21.7 billion for more than 600 programs in 150 countries (as of December 2010). The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

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