20 Dec 2021


Josh Pereira


Imagine that you just arrived in a new country. You find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings, among unfamiliar faces. You do not know a soul, or how to speak or understand the language. You do not have a place to live, yet this is the place you now call home.

That is what it is like to be a refugee entering America.

For 100 years, Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island has been welcoming immigrants and refugees to Rhode Island, making sure those entering the Ocean State experience a seamless transition to life in America and have their basic needs met as they look to resettle in the smallest state.

Dorcas International aims to empower immigrants and refugees by offering various support services, from housing and healthcare to English language classes to education opportunities and job training. Each program is designed to help the most vulnerable members of the community acclimate to their new surroundings and build a self-sufficient and sustainable life in Rhode Island. Dorcas seeks to empower immigrants, refugees, and the underserved to thrive and succeed through innovative programs and advocacy that promote education, training, and cultural understanding.

As 250 Afghan refugees comprising roughly 65 families begin to settle in Rhode Island the important work Dorcas International has provided for the last century is more crucial than ever.

 “These families need everything, especially now during the housing crunch in Rhode Island,” said Cloutier. “We are seeking temporary housing as we search for permanent housing and seek to provide other basic needs.”

Support from the Papitto Opportunity Connection will help Dorcas International continue to meet the needs of those looking to resettle in Rhode Island.

“Papitto Opportunity Connection is pleased to join Dorcas in celebrating a significant milestone and support the critical work the organization continues to provide to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and welcome them into Rhode Island,” said John Tarantino, managing trustee of the Papitto Opportunity Connection.

“This generous gift allows us to expand our reach as well as our services as we proudly step into our second century of welcoming and supporting those who seek to call Rhode Island home.” said Cloutier. “The Papitto Opportunity Connection’s support comes at a pivotal time for Dorcas International—our 100th year of service to newcomers and Rhode Islanders alike.”

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