…..but no one ever mentions that in fluffy-puffy articles like this one.
Your tax dollars!
It all sounds so lovely, sniffing the zinnias! (Nevermind, that zinnias are virtually odorless).
Here at GMA News we have another article about New Roots, the refugee gardening project, funded by grants from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to the resettlement contractors.
The program costs around a cool $1 million a year. It is all about “reconnecting” and “adjusting,” and multi-million dollar a year contractors like the International Refugee Committee (IRC) with major PR campaigns know how to spin the news so that you think this is one more of their “charitable” projects not yours.
For new readers the IRC is the contractor which has recently hired David Miliband, former Labor Party honcho from the UK, to head the organization for a cool $450,000 plus a year salary and benefits.
Here is just one recent list of grantees for the RAPP—imagine how much these veggies and flowers are worth when one garden project gets on average $80,000 from the US treasury!
From GMA News:
BALTIMORE – Bending over a garden blooming with zinnia, Nidda Haseeb Al Dafrawi breathes in the fragrant perfume of the flowers and closes her eyes. [LOL! Did some handler tell her to smell the flowers for the reporter?—ed]
“They remind me of my house,” says the 70-year-old Iraqi woman. [Is she on SSI?—ed]
The house was in Baghdad. But the garden the former school headmistress now tends so lovingly is in a central square in Baltimore, Maryland.
Along with refugees from Sudan and Myanmar, Nidda regularly visits this urban horticultural oasis to plant flowers and vegetables which allow her to reconnect with her homeland.
Her green-fingered pursuits have been made possible by a program launched by the International Rescue Committee non-profit, New Roots.
New Roots was launched in the IRC’s San Diego resettlement office in 2007, with the aim of “reconnecting refugees to the culture of their homelands by growing food.”
The program now boasts 38 community gardens in 14 out of 22 cities where the IRC helps around 10,000 refugees each year as they adjust to life in the United States.
So, I guess we have taken care of all the needy Americans and have money for zinnias for Iraqis!
Keep an eye on Baltimore’s gardens and see if they go the way of Ft. Wayne’s.
Unrelated update from Baltimore: Black youths severely beat man in Little Italy section of Baltimore, here.