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


1. "What is a refugee," USA for UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency,, Accessed August 21, 2017.

2. Chris Huber, "Forced to flee: Top 5 countries refugees are coming from," Displacement, World Vision,, Accessed August 21, 2017.

Volunteer Experience

This week we would like to shift gears. Instead of discussing last week's harvest, which went great I must add, we would like to acknowledge one of Iskashitaa's summer interns. Her name is Cannelle Moriniere. She was with us over the summer and she spent her time helping us at our events. Cannelle also spent time interviewing the refugees we assist. Below is an excerpt from one of her interviews.

We are eternally grateful to have had Cannelle as part of our team. We wish her the best of luck as she returns to Prescott Community College to continue her studies.

What is it?

Cannelle Moriniere

Food is an edible and potable substance in which humans and other living organism metabolize and digest to sustain one’s energy source, growth, health and life. Without food, we wouldn’t have enough nutrition and vitamins to stay alive, thus our bodies will start to break down its own proteins to make glucose for energy. Essentially our bodies will literally cannibalize itself and eat way its own muscle tissue to stay alive (Fiona MacDonald, 6 Aug 2015).

Since food has always been around and is a basic need for humans, it has become a symbolic representation for different cultures. Many cultures have used food to represent special occasions and remember events and their concepts. Food comes from many different places and it uses are endless for recipes.

What makes food part of a culture is that it is passed down from each generation to be practiced and introduce to newer people. Passed down to her, Huda Innabi kindly told us her family recipe for Carob that we have collected from a harvest.  For the first time, she has made Carob jelly and juice which was her families recipe as it was very popular in Jordan (where she from) and in Egypt.  

 At her grandparent’s farm, she recalls good memories of her family members making Carob jelly and has she decided to make some at home. One of the reasons why Carob is a popular food is because it is very healthy. Carob is high in protein, calcium and many other benefits such as acid reflex, diabetes etc. Not only can you use Carob as a jelly or juice but you can also make:

·         Smoothies

·         Pudding

·         Hot or cold tea

·         Pancake syrup

For further information...

Watch: What Would Happen if You Stopped Eating?


6 AUG 2015

Food: An Important Part of Most Cultures

Written by Miranda Marquit 2017

Thank you Cannelle for all your hard work with us this past summer. Best of luck to your education and you always have a place at the Iskashitaa office!

Alfonso Cavada-Tavares

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Social Media Intern