Around 700 people are feared dead after the boat they were travelling in capsized off Libya Coast while it was crossing the Mediterranean.
“28 people have survived this and there are still 700 people on board. At this moment we fear that this will be a huge loss of life, Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told SkyTG24 television.
Navy vessels were involved in the operation, an Italian official confirmed. Though he said the details were still being evaluated.
The accident occurred when a cargo ship came close to the boat which was carrying the illegal migrants. Sensing danger of being caught, the illegal migrants moved towards one side of the boat, which imbalanced the vessel, and led to the mishap.
The boat went down about 60 miles (96km) off the Libyan coast and 120 miles (193km) south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Pittsburgh based organization ‘Hello Neighbor’ introduces migrants to welcoming American families
It is an initiative to build cultural bridge between two distinct cultures
Many migrant families have felt safer after going through the ‘Hello Neighbor’ process
Pittsburgh, August 11, 2017: ‘Hello Neighbor’ is an organization based in Pittsburgh that aims to build cultural bridges between migrants and Americans.
The initiative tries to integrate the migrants into the society through fruitful interaction and activities.
The Hello Neighbor is a not for profit organization, established in January 2017. The process is simple. It is a mentorship program. The migrant family is paired with a welcoming open minded American Families. Through fruitful interactions and meetings, the migrant family will have the opportunity to learn the American culture and get integrated into the society.
The American families (the Mentors) will receive support, education, and guidance to become refugee advocates.
Interactions include picnics, potluck dinner, cultural outings and more. The mentorship program is a four months program.
Sloane Davidson, the founder, is the woman behind the idea of connecting two different families. As she stated to sources at VOA, “It is important to remember that refugees are people who are forced to flee.” She said she wanted to do something so the families could come together and have “meaningful interactions.”
– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394
California Gold Rush caused the migration of Chinese
Contribution of Chinese workers in helping build Buena Vista Winery
Sonoma-Penglai Sister City Committee is raising funds to build a Chinese pavilion to honor their contribution
California, July 13, 2017:
Role of California Gold Rush in Migration of Chinese
Discovery of Gold in 1848 by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in California sparked almost mass hysteria as it brought thousands of immigrants to the American west. The New York Herald is said to be the first newspaper to confirm about the news of gold rush in California (on August 1, 1948). More than 300,000 people thronged from the United States and abroad seeking to strike it rich. The California Gold Rush also included the Chinese who stayed back even after the gold rush ended in 1855. The Chinese worked as unskilled labor mainly in construction of the railroads.
Contribution of Chinese workers in laying the foundation of Wine Industry
Very few people know that these Chinese workers played a vital role in laying the foundation for the famous California wine industry. People who visit by the Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma County get surprised when they learn about the forgotten past of Chinese laborers. Founded in 1857 it is the first premium winery of California. The people who helped in building it came from far off places while some of them also traveled north of San Francisco to work in the infant vineyards.
“From the late 1850’s to the 1870’s, they primarily were Chinese laborers. They actually built our building and played a huge role in the founding of Buena Vista,” said Tom Blackwood, general manager of Buena Vista Winery.
“They did all of the work of the fields, the plowing. The actual digging, planting and then the management of all the vineyards,” said Blackwood. “They definitely worked at the other properties, but Buena Vista was known to have the largest Chinese labor camp north of San Francisco.”
The Chinese laborers also dug the cave at Buena Vista Winery for the purpose of storing wines so they could age. But what still remains there, are the pick marks on the walls of the cave. The rocks which were dug from the cave were used as building blocks for the wine-making facilities at that time, and of those original buildings, two of them still remain to this date.
“A couple of my friends showed me, the so-called ‘Chinese rock fence,’” said Chinese American Jack Ding, pointing to a low fence made of rocks at the side of a busy road. “Local people, they still remember Chinese laborers did something for them.” “They worked here, lived here and most of them died here. They didn’t have a place to be buried,” said Ding to VOA.
Story of Chinese Laborers still a mystery
Stories of the Chinese laborers passed down by word of mouth among the locals. Historians knew about them, but what happened to them isn’t certain. Immigrants from China experienced violent anti-Chinese sentiment, boycotts, and in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act, restricted their immigration into the United States.
“We don’t understand where they went after they left the city of Sonoma. We don’t know a whole lot of names,” said former Sonoma city historian George McKale.
“This was sort of the forgotten history of Sonoma. We had sort of a shameful history regarding the Ancient Exclusion Act and people want to make things right,” said resident David Katz.
Wine Country Chinese Legacy Project, an effort to honor their contributions
To honor these nameless laborers, the Sonoma-Penglai Sister City Committee is raising money to build a Chinese pavilion, in the city of Sonoma. Katz and Ding who are the members of this Committee said that it would also be a piece of history for the new Chinese who are here. While the project aims to raise a total of $75,000, the Chinese sister city of Penglai has pledged $25,000 for building the outdoor structure, thus it will be called the Penglai Pavilion.
“We can see a lot of investors from China. They purchase wineries. They purchase properties. That is the reason why we want to build this kind of physical structure, to remind the people, remind them of the history, who we are and where we came from.”
The pavilion would help in educating the new generations of Chinese who visit the wine country learn about the history of their fellow citizens, said Ding.
– by Sabnam Mangla of NewsGram, Twitter: @sabnam_mangla
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