Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Iskashitaa Refugee Network creates opportunities to integrate UN refugees into the Southern Arizona community while educating the public, strengthening the local food system, reducing local food waste, and increasing food security.

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ISKASHITAA REFUGEE NETWORK is a grass roots organization that helps rebuild refugee lives through our partnerships with volunteers and local organizations. We create opportunities for refugees to contribute to the community by using their knowledge and skills. We help refugees integrate into the greater Tucson community. We help refugees gain life skills that facilitate success in the US.

ISKASHITAA is the Somali Bantu word for working cooperatively together and fit perfectly with what the group was becoming. Although ISKASHITAA started out working with Somali Bantus, the organization has expanded to work with all refugee populations from around the world. ISKASHITAA serves refugees from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Burma, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Republic of Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria. ISKASHITAA staff and volunteers unite refugees and the community through unique programs designed to empower the refugees. Programs emphasize community connections, sharing, and English language practice to build community of refugees and volunteers. ISKASHITAA has also worked to build a networking community among Tucson area refugee volunteers and agencies.

Barbara Eiswerth, the founder and director of ISKASHITAA, recruited refugee students in 2003 to participate in a project identifying locations of produce that was going to waste in Tucson. The youth also worked to harvest and redistribute these locally grown foods. After organizing four youth mapping programs, Barbara received a grant from the United Way to begin regularly harvesting and gleaning with refugees.

ISKASHITAA harvests 50 tons of fruits & vegetables annually. We glean over 20 varieties of citrus; 40 non-citrus fruits, nuts & vegetables, over 20 varieties of pumpkin & squash. Since 2003 we have donated these fruits and vegetables to 32 organizations. We have distributed 1,500,000 fruit & vegetable servings. ISKASHITAA utilizes locally harvested food in our workshops. Refugees and volunteers learn new ways to prepare and preserve food. Participants learn safe food handling standards in certified kitchens. After the food workshops, we sell our products in local stores & events. We offer 40 cooking workshops annually. "Please donate today and help us reach our goal of $30,000 to help refugees. Just think how much good we could do together by reaching either of those goals

Address: 1406 E. Grants Bldg. 2
Tucson, AZ 85719
AZ State Tax Credit Info: No Arizona Tax Credit
Alliance Member?: No
Service Areas: Pima