Volunteers try to help Burmese refuges in Waterloo
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department
posted Jan 31 2014 9:43AM
~WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A federal agency is ending services to Burmese refugees in Waterloo, leaving volunteers scrambling to figure out how they can continue to help the immigrants.
The local office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, which opened in December 2012, will close on Feb. 28 when federal funding runs out. It has been helping Burmese refugees learn English and understand several community services.
The office always intended to be a temporary presence in Waterloo, where about 1,200 Burmese refugees currently reside.
Ann Grove, lead case worker, says she is trying to organize volunteers and resources to help fill in the looming gaps. Several community organizations are stepping up, and Grove is hopeful she can align priorities, needs and available funds.