about hawa

The Horn of Africa Women's Association, (HAWA) is located in Seattle, where many refugees and Immigrants from the Horn made their home. HAWA was established in Seattle in 1999 founded by immigrant and refugee women who dedicated their time, expertise and willingness to help fellow women and their children.

Many refugee and immigrant women face barriers and obstacles such as language, integration, assimilation to a new culture and intergenerational issues wthin the family.

These women have already been traumatized during the civil war in their home country and consequently in refugee camps while awaiting the process to immigrate to all part of the world.

Once in America their immediate needs were met and women and their children felt safe, but they were confronted with new challenges, and the need to overcome them brought a different type of abandonment and new stresses in their life.

Some of the new challenges were racism, new way of life and a system that promoted individualism, much different than the communalism they were used to depend on. Traditionally, families are headed by the father, since many refugees were women and children, women found themselves head of the household and dealing with unfamiliar situations, such as signle parenting, joining the work force and dealing with many systems within the larger system. Women and children suffered from the new roles in the host country. In the new family, fathers were absent or they were of little help because they too had to deal with their own assimiliation issues.

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