Sunday, June 12, 2011

At peace on a rooftop

From the Daily News:

African immigrants hoping to be granted U.S. asylum have discovered a taste of home on top of the city's largest rooftop farm.

The Refugee Immigrant Fund Asylum Help Center, a Queens nonprofit that aids those fleeing persecution and torture, has partnered with a 40,000 square-foot rooftop farm in Long Island City to give refugees a unique opportunity to work the soil in their new urban home.

"Having contact with the ground is very important for me, even if it's on a roof in a big city like New York." said Erick Kpakpo, 31, from Central Africa, who is waiting to be granted asylum.

Through the fund's Urban Farm Recovery Project, three interns from Africa work two days a week at the Brooklyn Grange farm. Organizers say the program can be healing for the participants and gives them a chance to meet New Yorkers and settle into their new lives in the city.

It hasn't been an easy road to the United States for the immigrants chosen for the project, say organizers noting they faced rape, violence, kidnapping and torture at home and now must deal with the stress of waiting for asylum.

The U.S grants asylum to people who have been persecuted or fear persecution on account of race, religion, nationality or politics.


Detective McNutty said...

I wonder if Brooklyn Grange pays the refugees for their work? It seems Brooklyn Grange profits when they sell the produce grown by their volunteer workforce.

Anonymous said...

The Refugee Immigrant Fund Asylum Help Center ....

for Christ sake does every freakin thing in this borough have to be tied up in some damn tweeder program.

They ain't even citizens and they get tax payer money while the borough is starved for money and rots around us.

Anonymous said...

This refugee program is a very bad thing. The UN defines them as political refugees and then the US takes them in.

Anonymous said...

I think its a great place for all the young hipster greenies out there that think they are so hip demanding funding for their fantasies like bike lanes while 1000s of (darks kinned) student get sucky services like schools.

Let them (instead of the dark skinned folks) sweat out in the open air doing something useful.

Anonymous said...

Will not happen. The hipster greenies with their 'listening sessions' for waterfront and trees and bike lanes are the friendly articulate faces for development.

They need to be coddled as they are doing an important service.

You don't want Ranter or Suna or Maltz as the public face for development now, do we?

Anony2 said...

Do they have thier immunizations? I wouldn't eat anything off this roof top. Gas exhaust, pollution, pigeon droppings...