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The International Institute Serves Refugees, Including Some in SW Missouri

League of Women Voters of Southwest MO

In this segment of Making Democracy Work, Lisa Langley talks with Kari Hoggard, site manager of the southwest Missouri branch of the International Institute of St. Louis, about the organization and who it serves.

According to Hoggard, there are two populations in southwest Missouri her organization is serving:  A Burmese Chin population in Springfield and Somali refugees in McDonald County.

The settlement services the organization offers new arrives include housing, education and how to become financially independent.  Hoggard said, since 1948, the U.S. has given refugee status to individuals who fall into very specific categories.  According to Hoggard, "it has to be proven that they've been under religious persecution or they've been targeted because of political affiliation and that a government is hostile to them and hostile to the democratic process."

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.