RISE [Refugee & Immigrant Self-Empowerment]
Salt City Harvest Farm is lucky to be working with RISE through the RAPP Grant to deliver resources and support for those that are adjusting to Northeastern United States agricultural climate. Class based lessons accompany urban garden training resulting in community members managing their own 1/8th acre of land. This not only provides culturally specific fresh produce for families, but also a source of income when it sells at local famer's markets!
The mission of Refugee and Immigrant Self- Empowerment (RISE) is to advocate and promote self-sufficiency through employment, education, social support and economic independence for members of the refugee and immigrant communities in Onondaga County, NY.
RISE, formerly known as the Somali Bantu Community Association (SBCA), was founded by Somali Bantu refugees in 2004 to ease the transition of other members of the resettled Somali Bantu community living in Onondaga County. Viewing education as the best chance for upward mobility in their new environment, the founding members began SBCA with a small homework group at the home of one of the members. After outgrowing this setting, SBCA moved its homework help to a space at the Dr. King Elementary School, and later moved to a shared office space at the Central Village Youth Center.Once settled its new space at the Central Village Youth Center, SBCA expanded its offerings to include: ESL classes, case management, interpretation and translation, and job placement services among many others. Our programs are targeted at promoting self-sufficiency through employment, education, and economic empowerment. [more]
SyRAPP Agricultural Program
The Syracuse Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (SyRAPP) addresses the needs and aspirations of a growing refugee community in Syracuse as they face significant social and economic challenges posed by a high concentration of poverty in Syracuse. In this context the SyRAPP Program responds to the desire within the refugee community for increased opportunities for food production in community gardens and market gardens in order to increase food security, create safe spaces for cultural exchange, and provide economic opportunities.
To address these needs RISE was able to secure a three year grant awarded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, through the US Office of Refugee Resettlement. During the three year grant New Americans will attend ESL gardening classes, gardening 101 classes, and hands on gardening classes taught by an urban agriculture educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County. The participants have already started an incubator garden at 120 Seward Street on the North Side of Syracuse. This is where the participants learn hands on gardening tailored to the Syracuse growing season. During the second year of the program participants will learn about marketing and selling produce and they will have individual plots of land at Salt City Harvest Farm and some will remain at the incubator garden. The participants will also sell produce through the Brady Farm CSA and at the Farmers Market. By the third year of the program participants will continue growing food on individual lots at Salt City Harvest Farm and at community gardens and the participants who are interested will learn how to write business plans and acquire loans to start their own farm. [more]
More information about RISE and their othr programs benefitting Syracuse communities can be found here.