Bar News - January 18, 2008
Bar Foundation News
By: Susan Noon
Two More Worthy Causes Your Philanthropy at Work
Donations by NH Bar members and revenue earned through the IOLTA Program make it possible for the NH Bar Foundation to provide significant grants in support of civil legal services for disadvantaged residents and to contribute to law-related educational programs.
This series on how your philanthropy works began in the Jan. 4 issue of Bar News and aims to acquaint you with the various agencies that are funded by the NH Bar Foundation. During the past year, the following two organizations were among those who received grants.
The Children’s Alliance of NH
Over the past 12 years, the NH Children’s Alliance (NHCA) has helped bring about discernible positive changes for low- and moderate-income families with children in New Hampshire. Significant accomplishments include:
- the founding of a statewide child advocacy network NHCAN - that provides and supports an annual public policy agenda for children, youth and families;
- the expansion of Medicaid coverage for poor children and pregnant women; the statewide adoption of a computerized intake assessment program which provides low-income persons with one-stop determinations of eligibility for dozens of local, state and federal assistance programs;
- the creation of the New Hampshire Healthy Kids Corporation to provide publicly- subsidized health insurance to low- and moderate-income children;
- the passage of legislation providing state funding for kindergarten in New Hampshire; the creation of pilot programs for school-linked health services;
- the funding for a home-based visiting nurse program providing nutrition, child development, parenting, family planning and resource referral information to at-risk mothers and their newborns.
The goal of NHCA is to make New Hampshire one of the best places anywhere for a child to grow up. For more information, go to http://www.childrennh.org/ or call Maria White, Interim Executive Director, at (603) 225-2264. NHCA is located at 2 Greenwood Avenue, Concord, NH,
International Institute of NH
(L-R) The International Institute of New Hampshire (IINH) paralegal Hassan Hussein, with clients Madina Dhayow, Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, and Halima Ali Abdukar. The IINH is a Bar Foundation grant recipient agency.
The price of being a refugee is often losing everything: home, family, memorabilia, professional status—and one’s homeland itself. Refugees may seek assistance from the UN High Commission for Refugees. UNHCR determines whether individuals have credible claims of persecution, it helps gather necessary documentation and makes referrals to the US Citizenship & Immigration Services, which then determines whether refugees are admissible under US immigration laws. Once a case is approved, USCIS conducts security checks on each individual.
The International Organization for Migration performs medical exams and makes transportation arrangements, for which refugees sign promissory notes. The US Department of State determines refugee distribution throughout the United States and ten voluntary agencies allocate the congressionally approved resettlement numbers among their 425 field offices.
Since the early 1980s, approximately 6,500 refugees have resettled in New Hampshire, primarily in Merrimack and Hillsborough counties.
Refugees enter the US with I-94 Cards, which documents authorization for employment. One year after arrival in the US, refugees are eligible to become lawful permanent residents. Five years after admission into the US, they may apply for citizenship.
In addition to helping refugees find housing and employment, helping them enroll their children in school, showing them where and how to shop in America, and enrolling them in ESL classes, the International Institute of New Hampshire provides legal services to assist refugees in becoming permanent residents. Refugees commonly arrive without any birth or marriage documentation; therefore, the IINH also prepares affidavits of birth and marriage to meet the requirements of becoming a permanent resident.
The NH Site Director is Anne Sanderson, International Institute of NH, 315 Pine St., Manchester, NH. Contact the Institute at (603) 647-1500 or at http://www.iiboston.org/iinh.htm.
More than $1.76 million in grants was made through the NH Bar Foundation’s IOLTA and Justice Grants programs last year.