What we do
DARA's work in refugee resettlement
Initially, DARA assists refugee families for 4 to 6 months while they establish themselves with jobs, enroll in school, and become familiar with life in America. With the help of Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), DARA cosponsors these refugee families as they acclimate and acculturate to a new life and country. What sets DARA apart from the other IRIS-approved groups in Connecticut is that to date, we are the only unaffiliated group in our state; DARA has no social organization or congregation providing financial backing or support. The goal of cosponsorship is to help each family in the short term as they get used to their new lives, and to also empower them with the tools — both financial and social — to become self-sufficient within half a year.
The long-term stage of resettlement is an ongoing commitment. DARA will be a part of these families’ lives well into the future, not just in helping them in the short term. The ultimate goal of resettlement is to help families become part of our community as full, contributing members of American society. This commitment is DARA's way of investing in the viability our country and in the health, safety, and well-being of people who have endured violence, intolerance, and upheaval the likes of which most of us will never experience.
How you can help
Volunteers are the backbone of any nonprofit, and DARA welcomes volunteers of all abilities. Please visit our Volunteer section for more information on how you can get involved.
DARA has come a long way since its inception in October of 2015. Originally a collection of neighbors — strangers to one another before our first meeting — hoping to help those in need, we’ve grown into an official nonprofit organization. DARA successfully resettled our first refugee family in our community, and we remain committed to welcoming more families in the future.
DARA's members are all volunteers, and our committees for Acculturation, Education, and Employment, to name just a few, are working constantly to ensure that our first family, and those to follow, are contributing members of our community and America.
DARA also works with other local refugee resettlement organizations to exchange ideas and resources. We believe that the more people help one another, the better we can all help the less fortunate.
You can learn more about DARA in the Danbury News-Times:
Connecticut opens arms to refugees
'Ordinary' people step up to help refugees
Why a group of strangers came together to help others
And the Episcopal Church’s webcast One United People.
Danbury Area Refugee Assistance (DARA)
is a nonprofit organization that resettles refugee families,
providing advocacy and support as they work toward self-sufficiency
to become productive members of our community.