Iskashitaa

Refugee Awareness

Refugees come from all over the world. Many of us do not realize that Refugee Awareness month was last June and June 20th is in fact Refugee Awareness Day. There are hundreds of Refugee Assistance programs globally, ours included, acting towards the benefit of those that have been misplaced from their homes. The unfortunate individuals must move from their homes to distant lands and must ask for help in a strange new language.

What is a refugee?"

"Where do refugees come from?"

"How can I help?"

These are all questions that you might be thinking to yourself as you read the above paragraph. Simply, my friends, I will tell you.

The UN Refugee Agency defines a refugee as someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. Refugees often have deep fears of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries (1).

Refugees are coming from war-torn and conflict areas. Often, the children that do manage to escape know nothing of time before the conflict. Families have been torn apart due to the ongoing violence. Refugees rely on relatives, caring strangers, and assistance programs to help them move to relatively safe surrounding areas. The leading 5 countries to produce refugees from the dusts of the fighting are Syria, Afghanistan, Lake Chad Basin, South Sudan, and Somalia (2).

If you are still wondering about how you can help, please contact us at Iskashitaa through the contact button at the top of the webpage. We are a non-profit that offers assistance programs for refugees in and around Tucson. To learn more about us, please review all our content we offer on the several web pages we provide.

Alfonso Cavada-Tavares

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Social Media Intern

Sources

1. "What is a refugee," USA for UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency, http://www.unrefugees.org/what-is-a-refugee/, Accessed August 21, 2017.

2. Chris Huber, "Forced to flee: Top 5 countries refugees are coming from," Displacement, World Vision, https://www.worldvision.org/refugees-news-stories/forced-flee-top-5-countries-refugees, Accessed August 21, 2017.

Harvest August 9, 2017

Today we had the pleasure of harvesting with students from the University of Arizona's Public Health department. We assisted the students and volunteer farmers at Felicia's Farm, a nonprofit farm located in Catalina Foothills, Arizona.

Harvesters looking for roots, plants, and leafy-greens this morning

Harvesters looking for roots, plants, and leafy-greens this morning

The first group of volunteers left from the Iskashitaa office at 8 am and the second group followed shortly after.  The farm is located on River Road.  We were assisted throughout the day by the farm's own Ashton Inskeep and Sofia Forier-Montes.

Several volunteers hard at work.

Several volunteers hard at work.

The harvesters enjoyed learning about the items they were collecting as well as proper usage. Sweet Potato leaves & Amaranth. Both of which were in abundance today.

Amaranth leaves

Amaranth leaves

Sweet Potato Leaves

Sweet Potato Leaves

We left the farm after having cleared much of the amaranth and sweet potato leaves. But before we did we made sure to take a group photo right in front of the farm as a testament to the hard work we put in today.

"Say 'Amaranth'!"

"Say 'Amaranth'!"

If you would like to be part of our volunteer and harvesting efforts, feel free to contact the office through the contact tab at the top of our website.

As always, have a great day!

Alfonso Cavada-Tavares

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Social Media Intern

Harvest August 2, 2017

As Iskashitaa continues it's gleaning efforts, we had another harvest this past wednesday. The two items harvested were Jojobas and Jujubees.

Jojobas (pronounced ho-HO-bas) refers to the desert prominent plant and to the oil that can be extracted from the plant's seed. We have found them all over Tucson and the plants look like this.

We are still attempting to harvest as much as possible to reach out goal in order to mill the seeds in to an oil. Feel free to contact Iskashitaa and let us know where you find the jojoba plants.

Jujubes (pronounced jü-ju̇-ˌbē) are an invincible. They grow in almost any temperature, even in Tucson summers. Jujubes have a long history of cultivation, roughly 4,000 years. Originating in China, they have spread to Russia, northern Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and the southwestern United States. For more information, please enjoy this further reading on Jujube's culture, descriptions, recipes, etc.

The Jujubes, not to be mistaken with the famous fruity candy, will be used during Iskashitaa's kitchen exercises to enrich the community and bring together refugees that are living among us. Stay tuned for those recipes and pictures of the family friendly fun.

Alfonso Cavada-Tavares

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Social Media Intern

Well-being During Monsoon Season

The Monsoons this month have been in full effect. You may have noticed your grass needs another trim. You also may have been caught behind drivers that don't quite know how to navigate themselves during a flash flood.

These and more nuisances of the rain will continue for a few more weeks. Do be careful. Because with this much rain, health concerns are possible. As the rain comes down, try to find shelter. While, a shelter will keep you safe from the rain, it won't save you from illness. This time of the year is when your immune system could be lacking.

7 Common Illnesses during the Monsoon Season

  • Dengue
  • Cold
  • Flu
  • Food infection
  • Water infection
  • Cholera
  • Leptospirosos is caused by bacteria that can be carried either by a man or some animal. Its severe form can damage kidney, liver, meningitis and respiratory failure.

Fear not. Just like any common cold, there are remedies. A calming chicken soup and a warm cup of tea does it for me. But if that doesn't work for you, the following may do it.

7 Precautions During Rainy Season

  • Keep Rain Gear With you Always – The most effective thing that you can do is to keep your rain gear always ready when you go out in the rainy season. A raincoat with hooded jacket and waterproof shoes are the best items.
  • Vitamin C – Increasing the intake of Vitamin C either in natural form or as food supplement will help you drive away the cold virus faster. It is still a matter of debate among doctors whether Vitamin C is cure for cold. However, a healthy supply of this vitamin will activate your antibodies and reduce the severity of cold, undoubtedly.
  • Shower After Being Caught in Rain – Although it sounds very unusual because if you are drenched in rain, you will never want to take another shower. But taking a shower after you have been caught in the rain will protect you from many infections.
  • Hot Drinks – This is the one season when you would like to take hot drinks. After taking a good bath, dry yourself and wear dry & clean clothes. The best thing is to make a hot soup for yourself or at least drink a cup of hot milk. This will help you from catching cold or save you from catching any kind of infection that can occur due to sudden change in the temperature of the body.
  • Cleanliness – Micro-organisms are susceptible to grow in the rainy season, try to maintain hygiene around you Cleanliness is very important during rainy season. Even if you catch a cold, you should clean your hands regularly and use a sanitizer always after that.
  • Drink Plenty of Water – Water intake may reduce naturally because of the sudden drop in the temperature of the environment. It is good to drink plenty of water and do not wait to get thirsty to drink water. This will help you drain toxins from your body.
  • Watch Out your Intake – Try to eat nutritious food and avoid eating out during rainy season. Prepare meal with full precaution and maintain health and hygiene throughout the house.

As you venture and occupy yourself during this monsoon season, carry on with caution. I try to keep an extra pair of socks and a clean shirt as well as an umbrella with me in my car because you never know when you will need them. It is better to be safe and sorry than to not be and be drenched.

Alfonso Cavada-Tavares

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Social Media Intern