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A look into TripAdvisor’s Refugee Youth Summer Academy trip to Ellis Island

Welcome Home: TripAdvisor and IRC partnership

TripAdvisor and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has launched the Welcome Home campaign, designed to provide refugees with opportunities to explore and start a new life. Through the partnership, TripAdvisor will provide incoming refugees with free access to tours, activities and experiences in their new hometowns.

The program kicked off on 27 July 2018, with a day trip to Ellis Island for nearly 90 students of the Refugee Youth Summer Academy, an IRC program for newly arrived refugee, asylee, and other vulnerable immigrant youth that provides them with the skills and resources to succeed in the New York City public school system.

The global refugee crisis has created the largest mass displacement of people in history, forcing millions to leave their homes and livelihoods to begin the daunting process of resettling in new countries.

The IRC provides vital services to displaced persons globally, including those who now face the difficult challenge of re-starting their lives in the US. This includes learning about life and customs, finding affordable housing, securing a job, integrating into a new community and learning English.

Along with dedicated tour guides and interpreters, students learned about the country’s rich history of immigration and inclusion and saw origins of some 12 million immigrants who arrived to begin their new lives in the US. The tour was provided in partnership with New York Tour1, and is bookable on TripAdvisor.

The ‘Welcome Home’ campaign offers displaced persons an opportunity to explore their new hometown and learn about its history, culture and people. It focuses on one of the four key areas of TripAdvisor’s long-term commitment to the IRC, which is supporting and strengthening refugee resettlement opportunities.

Over the course of the next year, TripAdvisor Experiences will work with IRC chapters in New York and California to distribute free access to tours, activities and experiences, helping recently resettled refugees adjust in their new communities. IRC clients will be provided promo codes, redeemable for a local experience of their choosing.

Steve Kaufer, CEO at TripAdvisor, said: “The process of re-starting your life in an unfamiliar city, country and culture is something few of us can imagine, and the work the IRC does to facilitate this process is both critical and commendable.”

“The most complex and protracted humanitarian crises of our time”

“We’re in the midst of one of the most complex and protracted humanitarian crises of our time, affecting millions of lives around the world. This programme, combined with our ongoing extensive financial support for the IRC, is only a tiny fraction of what’s sorely needed, but we’re honoured to play even a small role. We hope to provide a day of discovery and belonging in what is an otherwise daunting and incredibly difficult process, and we remain committed to our long-term partnership with the IRC.”

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