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A Heart for Helping Newcomers - One Journey Partner Mozaic Provides Comprehensive Support for Refugees

“At One Journey events, refugees have the opportunity to share their stories, breaking down barriers and fostering understanding.”
Raghad Bushnaq

Raghad Bushnaq has a big heart. She came to America as an immigrant from Syria in 1989 and loves her adopted country. But Raghad’s connection with her homeland and heritage has remained strong. When refugees from the war in Syria began arriving in the DC/MD/VA area in 2016, she felt a deep sense of empathy and responsibility for their plight.

 

Sharing a similar background with the refugees, Raghad understood their culture and needs, and knew firsthand the importance of a welcoming community to their new lives. She had to take action – and the idea for Mozaic was born, which Raghad founded that same year.

 

Mozaic provides comprehensive support and vocational training to refugees, families, and vulnerable populations within and beyond the DMV area. Under Raghad’s compassionate leadership as CEO, Mozaic strives to uplift and empower marginalized communities by addressing their unique needs.

 

Raghad has a high regard for One Journey events, which “offer a platform for refugees to share their stories, breaking down barriers and fostering understanding.” They give “refugees the opportunity to interact with companies and receive training, leading to several individuals finding employment opportunities as a direct result of their participation in these events.” The Mozaic tables are popular stops for visitors at the One Journey Festival and its Global Marketplace and Take Action Tent, where they can purchase handmade products and foods, and explore ways to volunteer.

 

With a career spanning more than three decades as an instructor and active advocate within the DC/MD/VA community, Raghad has demonstrated her heartfelt commitment to humanitarian causes. Her journey began as an Islamic Law student in Syria, followed by a diverse educational path that includes Agricultural Engineering and Islamic Economics.


women in sewing studio
Sewing Studio at Mozaic Center

Since its founding in May 2016, Mozaic has provided assistance to 2,017 individual refugees, including widows, orphans, individuals with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, and more. As a community-based nonprofit, Mozaic offers comprehensive services, such as: resettlement assistance, housing assistance, vocational training, job search support, school enrollment, provision of equipment, ESOL classes, mental and spiritual support, medical assistance, financial and rental aid, transportation, and a popular center for social engagement.

 

Raghad emphasizes that Mozaic's programs are designed to provide holistic support across various aspects of refugees' lives.

 

The Mozaic Care program offers urgent assistance and case management services tailored for refugees and their families. Services address immediate needs, including furnishing houses, medical and mental health support, life skills classes, food and care packages, and more.

 

The Mozaic Social Lounge fosters connections and community engagement for refugees, women, and children. It serves as the epicenter of Mozaic’s event initiatives, where individuals come together to unwind, connect, and participate in a diverse array of activities.

 

Initiatives like the girls' youth club provide skills training and entertainment, contributing to the development of young refugees. Mozaic Refugee Ed offers educational opportunities, including ESOL classes, tutoring, vocational training, career development, and financial literacy programs.


men setting up bed in apartment
Furnishing a house for a new refugee family

Nonprofits like Mozaic offer a path forward for many refugee families. They are also on the front lines of helping refugees develop and share the talents and experience they bring to their communities. And at the core of each one are dedicated people with hearts for helping refugees. This aligns with One Journey’s mission to amplify refugee voices and enhance public awareness of the talents and contributions they can offer. More information about Mozaic and its services is available on its website.

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One Journey, a grassroots movement since September 2017, hosts refugee awareness events with the support of volunteers, sponsors, and partners. In 2024, One Journey will continue hosting events throughout the year, including a Soccer Fest (June 8) and a World Refugee Day event.

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