Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; Ramadan is considered one of the five “pillars” of Islam and the Qur’an was first revealed during this month.  Ramadan is expected to begin on or around June 18, 2015 and will finish on or around July 16, 2015. The exact date cannot be determined in advance, due to the nature of the Islamic lunar calendar. The daily period of fasting starts at the break of dawn and ends at sunset.  Read more.



A Guide For Engaging Mainstream America In Immigrant Integration

A Project of Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning and Welcoming America

By Susan Downs-Karkos


It is with great anticipation that we release the Receiving Communities Toolkit, a guide to engaging mainstream America in integrating newcomers into our communities. We believe that just as fertile soil is needed for a seed to grow, receptive communities are critical if immigrants are to thrive.  The Receiving Communities Toolkit focuses on communities where new immigrants have made their homes, helping neighbors build relationships through trust and understanding. While others may concentrate on the seed, the toolkit’s emphasis is on preparing the soil in which it will flourish.

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Every year, thousands of people from all over the world arrive in Canada to begin a new life. They come with many different skills and with the hope of contributing to their new society. This cultural profile was written to help Canadians welcome Burundian newcomers to Canada. It will tell  you about Burundian people and what life is like in their original home. This information will be useful if you are hosting a Burundian family as part of the HOST program, learning about Burundi in school or working with Burundian colleagues who have recently arrived in Canada.

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“It was really hard at the beginning.”

On four occasions, Celia’s father tried to flee Cuba on a homemade boat. Her mother, Clara, felt the trip would be too dangerous. She never let Celia go. Built of tires and whatever else was available, the boats were no match for the sea, and her father got caught or had to turn around each time.

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“You are there on the road by yourself, and you don’t know what to do.”

By the time he was six years old, Daniel was on his own. About a year and a half earlier, he escaped to the countryside outside the city of Bor, in southern Sudan, which had experienced years of civil unrest.

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Refugees:  America Here We Come!

The Somali Bantu, Last days in Dadaab

There is a frisson of both excitement and fear in the air. Families cluster noisily around a row of rickety field tables answering last minute questions, surrendering crumpled scraps of paper—dirty and dogeared—but which have effectively defined who they are, what they can eat and where they can live for years.

Hordes of children are slung casually on the backs of their mothers or tug at their brightly colored dresses of swirling yellows, blues, reds and orange. One group of women squats under a tree, carefully watching, rarely speaking, as the line moves slowly forward through an open-sided shed, its tin roof the only shade against a fierce equatorial sun.

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Raising Children in a New Country,

“An Illustrated Handbook”


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