Local Non-Profit Gives Immigrant, Refugee Kids Safe Haven

CHARLOTTE, NC– “You’re safe here, we love you, we care about you don’t worry about anything no one is going to come take you, we’re here to help you,” said Our Bridge tutor, Andriika Clark.

This is the happy place for nearly 80 immigrant and refugee kindergarten through 5th graders in Charlotte. It’s called “Our Bridge” – nestled in Plaza Midwood.  Program Coordinator Andrew Eastwood says since the election, life has been tougher for these kids.

“A lot of the kids are feeling more pressure at home, and they’re afraid of sometimes even leaving their apartments and parents going out,” said Eastwood.

They come here after school, they play, but they can also talk openly about their fears and get help working through them.

“It’s ok to feel those emotions it’s ok to be angry it’s ok to be upset but how can we deal with them in a positive way,” said Clark.

“A lot of the kids come into our office with their family and you can see it in their face,” said Immigration attorney, Mercer Cauley.

Immigration attorney Mercer Cauley says the kids need that support because in his office many have to face devastating scenarios with their family.

“If we get deported are the children coming back with us to our country are they going to remain here with other family members, is it going to split up the family are we going to try and stay together,” said Cauley.

Which is why at “Our Bridge” the children can talk about their culture, not as immigrants or refugees in fear – just as kids.

“They know we’re going to be here for them, no matter what happens we’ll try to help in any way that we can,” said Eastwood.