Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund Grantees

To fund and strengthen emerging and established immigrant-led, community-based organizations in Maine.

The Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund was established in 2017 with the support of the Broad Reach Fund to support immigrant-led and immigrant-serving organizations in Maine. The Fund currently operates as a pooled fund of the Immigrant & Refugee Funders Collaborative, providing general operating support to organizations led by and serving Maine’s immigrants, refugees, asylees, migrant farm workers and those who are undocumented.

Angolan Community of Maine (ACM) is a non-profit community-based organization that was founded and is led-by a group of current and former Angolan refugees and immigrants, primarily for the advancement of immigrants.” ACM is established in the State of Maine cities/communities with sizeable Angolan populations and provide a myriad of funded or volunteer-led programs.

Cambodian Community Association of MaineThe Cambodian Community Association of Maine (CCAM) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to improve the quality of life and the social and economic well-being of Cambodian people in Maine through cultural exchange, community building and civic engagement.

Capital Area New Mainers Project: The Capital Area New Mainers Project was founded in 2017 as a cross-cultural organization that is welcoming immigrants to the greater Augusta region and works to create a thriving, integrated, multicultural community in central Maine. CANMP will launch the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP), which will increase access to employment and support entrepreneurship among immigrants in central Maine.

Choose Yourself: Choose Yourself is a young immigrant women led organization, working to build a world where racial and gender equity reigns by making sure the youth has access to economic and social power. The organization aims to empower young immigrants to feel at home and channel a sense of belonging then be part of community building. Inspired by lived experiences, as young teenagers who immigrated to Maine, some unaccompanied with no families, the team at Choose Yourself works to make the process of integration easier for young immigrants especially girls who go through a lot of identity crisis plus being exposed and vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

Congolese Community of Maine, a community based organization, mission is to facilitate integration and orientation of Congolese people in Maine. It assists Congolese families in search of affordable housing, food services, employment, childcare services, and general basic needs. CocoMaine promotes entrepreneurship and Congolese culture and value through educational workshops, social events, public forums.

Djiboutian American Empowerment ProjectThe purpose of Djiboutian American Empowerment Project (DACEP) is to unite Djiboutian community and enhance our community integration in the state of Maine.

Gateway Community Services is a nonprofit serving immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in the state of Maine. Serving both Portland and Lewiston, they offer support while creating opportunities for connection between immigrant, refugee, and asylee community members and their neighbors. Gateway is led for and by the people it serves. Programs and services are given from the heart and from first hand experience.

Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome CenterThe Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center serves as a hub of collaboration that strengthens the immigrant community through language acquisition, economic integration and civic engagement.

Hope Acts: Hope Acts work is rooted in our strong belief that asylum seekers and immigrants deserve an opportunity to thrive in the U.S. Our apartment building in downtown Portland ME, Hope House, is both a home for asylum seekers and a space where we provide English classes and individualized support.

Immigrant Resource CenterSupporting refugee and immigrant communities by offering culturally and linguistically sensitive services to promote a healthy and equitable Maine. ​

In Her Presence: Organized and Led by immigrant women living in Maine, In Her Presence strives to bring together immigrant women from across communities and generations to ensure that Maine’s economic agenda includes the aspirations and needs of immigrant women. They create spaces that support women’s empowerment and personal ambitions without losing our unique identity and connect immigrant women and girls for collective empowerment in their communities to address common challenges and issues.

Intercultural Community CenterThe Intercultural Community Center supports and improves the lives of immigrants by providing health, social and educational opportunities.

Ladder to the Moon: Ladder to the Moon was founded in 2014. Its mission is to increase awareness and inform the Maine public about conditions people face in Africa that motivate them to migrate to the United States and the challenges African immigrants face as they start to resettle here in Maine. Ladder to the Moon will publish Amjambo Africa!, a free monthly newspaper that highlights and celebrates the immigrant communities here in Maine and informs the broader public about these communities, their countries of origin and the many ways they are contributing to our community here in Maine.

Maine Access Immigrant NetworkMaine Access Immigrant Network (MAIN) serves as a bridge and cultural broker between mainstream health care and social services and the refugee and immigrant communities living in Maine. Through case management for adults, resource and referral services, and educational health prevention workshops that meet culturally/linguistically appropriate standards, MAIN ensures equal access to quality health and social services. Since its inception as Somali Culture and Development Association in 2002, MAIN has, and continues to be, an organization of, by, and for the refugee and immigrant communities we serve.

Maine Community Integration: Maine Community Integration’s (MCI) mission is to sustain the social vitality and cultural vibrancy of the New-Mainers heritage by strengthening family life, uplifting human services, binding together the historical traditions by supporting families, providing and assisting clients with needed social services, and organizing meaningful traditional and cultural events. MCI’s Youth Impact Initiative program provides cultural mentorship and to Muslim immigrant youth who are incarcerated at Long Creek Youth Development Center, and serves as advocates for New Mainer youth who are incarcerated or are facing incarceration. It provides cultural competency training to Long Creek staff and the District Attorney, judges, and other court and law enforcement staff.

Maine Immigrant and Refugee ServicesMaine Immigrant and Refugee Services (MEIRS) educates, assists, and empowers immigrant and refugee youth and their families toward a goal of social and economic self-sufficiency and mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. MEIRS promotes a pathway toward citizenship and community engagement, creating opportunities for inclusion and meaningful participation for immigrants and refugees.

Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition strives to improve the legal, social and economic conditions experienced by Maine’s Immigrants – enhancing their lives and strengthening Maine – through advocacy, information sharing, and fostering collaboration among member organizations.

This mission is important and specific in Maine as the coalition is the umbrella for the immigrants’ rights movement in Maine. With 52 member organizations, MIRC is one of the most diverse coalition in Maine. From immigrant groups, advocacy organizations to service providers and faith congregations, the coalition encompasses most of the constituencies that care about immigrants’ rights and immigrant integration.

Mano en Mano: Mano en Mano builds a stronger and more inclusive Downeast Maine by working with diverse populations to provide educational and affordable housing opportunities, remove barriers to health and social services, and advocate for social justice.

Mano en Mano helps farmworkers and New Mainers thrive in Downeast Maine. For us, that means not only meeting the needs of community members today, such as healthcare, social services, housing, employment assistance, and education; but also challenging the reasons why those needs exist in the first place.

New England Arab American Organization: New England Arab American Organization’s mission is to help ease the integration of Arab Immigrants into American society and bridge the gap between the cultures. The Not Alone Program serves to support women, in Portland and Westbrook, come together to share their stories, learn how to sow, cook, and be in community with one another.

New Mainers Public Health Initiative: Started by the initiatives of a handful of college and university students wanting to give back to their communities, New Mainers Public Health Initiatives (NMPHI) works to promote healthy habits and change attitudes, beliefs and behavior. NMPHI brings awareness about the importance of good health to the immigrant and refugee members of the community in Lewiston/Auburn, empowering people to take control of their healthcare through an understanding of medical diagnoses and treatment plans, and by becoming informed about primary and secondary prevention.

New Roots Cooperative Farm: ​New Roots Cooperative Farm’s mission is to build economic security for New Americans by providing delicious vegetables for its community. New Roots plans to open a new farm stand in Lewiston and hire a Somali Bantu youth to support the co-op in the following ways, marketing, farm management, event organizing, bookkeeping,  provide basic interpretation for the farmers, and help to engage volunteers on the farm.

Portland Empowered: Portland Empowered strives to ensure that student and parent voices are reflected in policy and practice within Portland Public Schools. Students and parents are experts on what they need to be successful in education, and our Youth Engagement Partners and Parent Engagement Partners are critical assets to education reform in Portland and beyond. We also share the knowledge and tools Portland Empowered develops to deepen the impact of student and parent engagement initiatives in Greater Portland and across the country.

Presente! MainePresent! Maine targets the empowerment and integration of the Latino community in Maine through education, community organizing, civic engagement, and direct support and services.

Prosperity MEProsperityME is a non-profit service organization dedicated to helping Maine’s immigrants and refugees build successful, rewarding lives in their new homeland.

Rwandese Community Association of Maine: RCAM provides cultural and economic integration guidance to Rwandan Immigrants in Maine through education, information sharing and connection to a variety of services, resources and opportunities.

Somali Bantu Community Association: The Somali Bantu Community Association  (SBCA) assists members of the refugee community at large on housing, employment, literacy and education, health, and safety matters. This includes empowering children and families to achieve lifelong success through personal and social change, by providing them with information about how to connect to a new life in the United States.

Somali Community Center of Maine: Somali Community Association of Maine supports Maine’s Somali immigrants and their families through advocacy, mentorship, youth activities, and literacy. The SCCM seeks to help community members overcome linguistic and cultural barriers, and achieve educational and economic opportunity in Maine.

South Sudanese Community Association: The mission of the South Sudanese Community Association of Maine is to promote growth, development, and integration of South Sudanese families and individuals into the American society by building community identity, promoting opportunities for economic advancement and developing leadership capacity for advocacy and civic engagement. In the summer of 2017, South Sudanese Community Association piloted a summer soccer program, Community Champions League, to engage youths from many different immigrant communities, this grant will fund the continuation of the League in 2018.

Sustainable Livelihood Relief Organization: Founded in Lewiston, Maine, the mission of Sustainable Livelihoods Relief Organization is to develop the capacity of the people to become productive members of society and integrate successfully into the labor market, both as employees and business owners, to raise the standard of living, strengthen the people’s resilience to adversity, and create a supportive environment for improved community well-being. This summer, the organization will launch a new program, Isuken Co-op, a farm-to-truck restaurant serving Somali Bantu food. Isuken will be the Nation’s first Somali Bantu farm-to-table food truck.

United Youth Empowerment Services (UNITED YES): United YES empowers immigrant youth, in central Maine, through original and compelling film and video productions intended to excite, educate, inspire, reveal the human condition and spirit, and create positive social change. United YES will launch a video training program for young people in Central Maine.

Women United Around the World: We believe in celebrating, advocating and assisting women locally and globally to achieve independence through vocational training and community connection.

 

2018-2019 Cohort

In 2018, Maine Initiatives, with the support of the Broad Reach Fund, recently established a new Immigrant-Led Organizations Fund to support immigrant-led organizations doing critical work in our state. The inaugural grantees are as follows:

Capital Area New Mainers Project: The Capital Area New Mainers Project was founded in 2017 as a cross-cultural organization that is welcoming immigrants to the greater Augusta region and works to create a thriving, integrated, multicultural community in central Maine. CANMP will launch the Economic Opportunity Program (EOP), which will increase access to employment and support entrepreneurship among immigrants in central Maine.

Ladder to the Moon: Ladder to the Moon was founded in 2014. Its mission is to increase awareness and inform the Maine public about conditions people face in Africa that motivate them to migrate to the United States and the challenges African immigrants face as they start to resettle here in Maine. Ladder to the Moon will publish Amjambo Africa!, a free monthly newspaper that highlights and celebrates the immigrant communities here in Maine and informs the broader public about these communities, their countries of origin and the many ways they are contributing to our community here in Maine.

Maine Community Integration: Maine Community Integration’s (MCI) mission is to sustain the social vitality and cultural vibrancy of the New-Mainers heritage by strengthening family life, uplifting human services, binding together the historical traditions by supporting families, providing and assisting clients with needed social services, and organizing meaningful traditional and cultural events. MCI’s Youth Impact Initiative program provides cultural mentorship and to Muslim immigrant youth who are incarcerated at Long Creek Youth Development Center, and serves as advocates for New Mainer youth who are incarcerated or are facing incarceration. It provides cultural competency training to Long Creek staff and the District Attorney, judges, and other court and law enforcement staff.  

New England Arab American Organization: New England Arab American Organization’s mission is to help ease the integration of Arab Immigrants into American society and bridge the gap between the cultures. The Not Alone Program serves to support women, in Portland and Westbrook, come together to share their stories, learn how to sow, cook, and be in community with one another. 

New Roots Cooperative Farm: ​New Roots Cooperative Farm’s mission is to build economic security for New Americans by providing delicious vegetables for its community. New Roots plans to open a new farm stand in Lewiston and hire a Somali Bantu youth to support the co-op in the following ways, marketing, farm management, event organizing, bookkeeping,  provide basic interpretation for the farmers, and help to engage volunteers on the farm.

Somali Community Center of Maine: Somali Community Association of Maine supports Maine’s Somali immigrants and their families through advocacy, mentorship, youth activities, and literacy. The SCCM seeks to help community members overcome linguistic and cultural barriers, and achieve educational and economic opportunity in Maine.  

South Sudanese Community Association: The mission of the South Sudanese Community Association of Maine is to promote growth, development, and integration of South Sudanese families and individuals into the American society by building community identity, promoting opportunities for economic advancement and developing leadership capacity for advocacy and civic engagement. In the summer of 2017, South Sudanese Community Association piloted a summer soccer program, Community Champions League, to engage youths from many different immigrant communities, this grant will fund the continuation of the League in 2018. 

Sustainable Livelihood Relief Services: Founded in Lewiston, Maine, the mission of Sustainable Livelihoods Relief Organization is to develop the capacity of the people to become productive members of society and integrate successfully into the labor market, both as employees and business owners, to raise the standard of living, strengthen the people’s resilience to adversity, and create a supportive environment for improved community well-being. This summer, the organization will launch a new program, Isuken Co-op, a farm-to-truck restaurant serving Somali Bantu food. Isuken will be the Nation’s first Somali Bantu farm-to-table food truck. 

United Youth Empowerment Services (UNITED YES): United YES empowers immigrant youth, in central Maine, through original and compelling film and video productions intended to excite, educate, inspire, reveal the human condition and spirit, and create positive social change. United YES will launch a video training program for young people in Central Maine. 

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