“Imagine what it must feel like for a refugee or immigrant to arrive in a new country. They are alone in a strange land. They don’t know the language or the culture. They may not even know how to read or write in their own language, much less in English. Perhaps they have fled everything familiar to them because home isn’t safe anymore. Perhaps they have experienced incredible trauma in their home country or in a refugee camp. Perhaps they’ve had to leave behind a spouse or parents or children — or maybe they have lost them to war. Everything is confusing and overwhelming for them. Coming to a new country has it challenges, challenges that are hard to overcome for people who don’t speak the language or understand the culture. The way of life here in the United States is different than it is in other countries and in refugee camps. Immigrants and refugees need a support system — a place where they can go to get help, a place where their language and culture are understood and respected, a place where they see familiar faces, and, most importantly, a place where children and parents can gain the education that will help them become successful and contributing members of their new communities. That’s where Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services steps in.”