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.