Join Us to Give Back This Ramadan

As we look forward to celebrating this auspicious time of the year with our brothers and sisters, we invite you to join us in helping change lives. Each of us has the opportunity to leave a legacy behind. Ramadan is the month of self-discipline, reflection, community and charity. We hope you will think of AccessCal when you seek to alleviate the burden of those who suffer. Together with you, we can change the destiny of a person’s life.

RAMADAN FUNDRAISER – We invite our supporters to join us this auspicious month to help change the lives of the underserved individuals and families in our community. Your donations will go towards helping our clients access close to 100 programs and services. Click this LINK to give back!

WEEKLY IMPACT UPDATES – Every week, we will share how your support has positively impacted the lives of the underserved community. Don’t forget to share these impact stories if you feel inspired. Sign-up for our newsletter on our website.

ANNUAL EID TOY DRIVE – We look forward to hosting our Annual Eid Toy Drive this year. We need your help to bring smiles on the faces of the children in our community. You can donate via Amazon Smile or drop off new and unused toys at our office on Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Please click this LINK for Amazon Smile.

What Does It Mean to Be a Refugee Youth in America?

As part of our efforts to empower the youth in our community to make an impact while learning a new skill-set, we initiated a Refugee Youth Immersive Storytelling project with Al Jazeera Contrast (AJ Contrast) –  the innovation studio of Al Jazeera Digital. To kick-start this project, the youth first attended storytelling workshops led by the experts at AJ Contrast. The youngsters learned how to pitch a story, create a storyboard, plan a shoot, film stories using 360-degree camera and mobile phones and much more.

Over the next month, selected refugee youth will be supported by the AJ Contrast and AccessCal team to create short films that will highlight what it means to be a refugee in America. Their films will be published across AJ Contrast and AccessCal digital platforms on World Refugee Day. To learn more, check out www.accesscal.org and www.ajcontrast.com.

AccessCal Provides Covid-19 Vaccine Registration Assistance

We at AccessCal have been working on the frontlines to ensure our community’s needs are being met during this challenging time. We have helped people with their EDD application, health coverage enrollment, rental assistance application and much more. With the vaccine rollout in Southern California, we knew individuals and families in our community would need help registering for the vaccine.

Many of the refugees and immigrants we serve have a limited command of the English language. They struggle to apply for government programs and services. We knew for all of us to move forward safely from this public health crisis, we all need to get vaccinated.

As part of our COVID-19 response efforts, we initiated a service to help individuals eligible for the vaccine, apply for their appointment. We rolled out an informational flyer across our digital channels and shared it with our clients. We started receiving many request from our clients.

When the vaccine was first rolled out for the elderly, our team assisted our elderly clients with their vaccine appointments. If an elderly client needed a ride to the vaccine site, we found volunteers to help them get there. Once the vaccine was opened up to individuals 16 years and older, we received a number of request and helped many of our clients’ sign-up to get their vaccine.

For anyone seeking assistance in making their vaccine appointment, email Nadia at nadiaa@accesscal.org.

An Emergency Town Hall on Mental Health

The murder-suicide of a Muslim family in Texas sent shockwaves across the United States as an entire family lost their lives due to unresolved mental health issues. When this news broke out, our Mental Health Advisor, Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, alongside our Mental Health Services Coordinator Noor Aljawad, and Mohammed Qazi of Muslim Family Circle, organized a virtual Emergency Town Hall meeting to discuss the importance of tending to our mental health. Speakers included Sheikh Yassir Fazaga himself, Sheikh Mohammad Faqih, Imam of Memphis Islamic Center, Sheikh Tariq Atta, Iman of Orange County Islamic Foundation, and Dr. Imran Rajput, Child Psychiatrist. This town-hall witnessed a robust discussion between the speakers and the attendees. The participants were grateful to be part of this dialogue as one said, “It’s helping break the barriers that exist in our community on this important topic.”

Some of the key points that were highlighted include:

  • • Spirituality as a protective factor and path for healing
  • • The importance of connectedness between family members, particularly between parent and child
  • • The importance of normalizing that mental health challenges exist, and are worthy of our attention, recognition, and treatment
  • • Demystifying the process of pursuing professional mental health support services

Many of those in our community may be reluctant to seek services for a variety of reasons. We urge community members experiencing mental health challenges and symptoms impairing mood and functionality (e.g. difficulty getting out of bed, persistent irritability) to approach our staff for a check-in. We are one call away to help you to explore your options and identify the interventions that may reduce the impact these challenges may be having on your life.

“The Living Room Dialogue” Youth Wellness Series

On Wednesday, April 07, 2021, we will kick-start a new series of wellness workshops for youth. These sessions are geared to empower youngsters to deal with their current challenges in a healthy manner. At the first workshop, our Wellness Experts will focus on the topics of self-love and self-care. The young participants will be taken through the self-care wheel to help them learn how to augment their emotional, mental and physical health. Additionally, they will be taught positive affirmations and introduced to a self-soothing toolkit.

Interested youth can register via this link. For questions, please contact our Youth Program Coordinator, Lilly Ahmed, at lilly@accesscal.org.

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Check Out Our Founder and Executive Director’s Interview On Shura TV

On Friday, March 19, 2021, our Founder and Executive Director, Nahla Kayali, was interviewed by our Board Member and host of Shura TV, Wali Abdul Hanifzai. The lively discussion between Wali and Nahla captures the important role that Access California Services (AccessCal) plays in the community. Nahla shares the journey of AccessCal, the programs and services offered, advocating for the community and how the team has worked on the frontlines during the pandemic.

Access California Services Condemns Acts of Violence Towards Our Asian American Brothers and Sisters

Orange County, CA 3/23/2021 – Access California Services (AccessCal) strongly condemns the incidences of hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Our heart goes out to the families, who lost their loved ones in the tragedy in Atlanta last week. We stand with our AAPI brothers and sisters during this difficult time and call to end the violence and racism directed towards them. It is time for us to unite and show love to our neighbors, while celebrating each other’s diversity. 

Leaders of Tomorrow – Ladder to Success Wednesday, March 17, 2021 | 7:00 – 8:00 PM PST

As part of our Youth Leadership series, this virtual seminar will provide the young people in our community an opportunity to learn from a trailblazing female leader. Our Board Chair, Khouloud Bustami, Vice President at American Funds, Capital Group Companies, will share her six tips for success. Khouloud has a passion to activate, inspire and help develop people to reach their highest potential.  She will share self-empowerment strategies that helped her in her business journey of 30 years that led her from a Client Services Associate in the Shareholder Services Department with Capital Group in 1990 to becoming a Vice President and a Sr. Department Manager in 2003.

To register, Click Here.

AccessCal Presents At The 2021 Youth SDG Summit – February 11, 2021

AccessCal is delighted to host a panel discussion at the 2021 Youth SDG Summit on “Empowering Refugee Youth to Succeed”.

This panel will highlight how each of us can play a critical role in helping refugee youth succeed in their new home country. It will showcase the resilience and determination of refugee youth to succeed as well as how we can unite to empower these youngsters to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

The panelist include:

MODERATOR

  • • Sonali Samarasinghe – Former Minister at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

SPEAKERS

  • • Nahla Kayali – Founder & Executive Director – Access California Services
  • • Sheikh Yassir Fazaga – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist / Mental Health Advisor to Access California Services
  • • Nada Abubakr – Recipient of Refugee Students Scholarship Program
  • • Gloria Baroi – Recipient of Refugee Students Scholarship Program

 

To learn more – Click Here